The victim of a one-punch attack in the Launceston CBD had to relearn motor skills, suffers memory loss and experiences ongoing psychological trauma, a court has been told.
His attacker, Joseph William Freeman, 27, of Trevallyn, breached a suspended sentence by carrying out the assault in the early hours of August 13, 2017. He was sentenced in the Supreme Court in Launceston on Wednesday.
The court heard Freeman had "formed the mistaken view" throughout the evening that the victim intended to harm him, but the victim sought to reassure Freeman's brother that this was not the case as they walked along George Street.
Despite this, Freeman punched the victim to the head without warning, causing him to fall backwards and hit his head against the footpath, losing consciousness and resulting in a seizure.
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The victim was airlifted to the Royal Hobart Hospital with intracranial bleeding and placed in an induced coma for several days before the bleeding stabilised. He was discharged after two weeks, but the court heard he continues to suffer the effects of the attack.
Freeman initially attended to the victim, before he was told to leave the area by others. The court heard "subsequent statements" made by Freeman undermined this expression of remorse.
Freeman was serving a three-month suspended jail sentence at the time, which was activated as a result of the assault. He was also jailed for 15 months in July this year for 21 burglaries, 15 counts of stealing and seven counts of fraud, targeting more than a dozen businesses in Launceston.
The court was told his offending stemmed from a life of substance abuse, which he was attempting to rectify in jail, according to a report.
Justice Robert Pearce said the assault must end with further jail time for Freeman.
"Alcohol-fuelled violence in or around licensed establishments is a matter of significant concern for the courts and the community," he said.
Freeman was jailed for 18 months, to be added on to his current sentence and the three months from the suspended sentence.