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One-punch-accused denies attack

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Stirling Terrace.
Camera IconStirling Terrace. Credit: Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

A 23-year-old man accused of a serious one-punch assault which left an Albany man with a fractured skull and jaw outside Studio 146 nightclub has denied a charge of grievous bodily harm.

Samuel Donald Ford pleaded not guilty in a brief appearance in Albany Magistrate’s Court last Thursday, where further details emerged leading up to the assault in the early hours of July 29.

Tobiah Pocklington, 26, suffered a fractured skull, hairline fractures around his eye sockets, damage to his teeth and a fractured jaw requiring a steel plate and screws.

Before Mr Ford’s appearance, the court heard two other men had earlier assaulted Mr Pocklington before he was allegedly struck by Mr Ford.

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Paul Matthew Bowman and Mr Ford’s brother Jake David Ford were sentenced to seven-month community based orders after pleading guilty to common assault.

Prosecuting Sergeant Cameron Clifford said an argument had developed and Mr Pocklington was “forcefully” shoved in the chest by both men after leaving the nightclub.

As he attempted to walk away, the men followed him and Mr Pocklington was then shoved to the ground by Mr Bowman, he said.

Sgt Clifford said moments after Mr Pocklington was pushed to the ground, he was seriously assaulted.

He said although Mr Bowman and Jake Ford were not being sentenced for the serious assault, their charges were linked to the incident, calling for a sentence that would deter people from fighting while intoxicated in the street.

Mr Bowman’s defence lawyer Graeme Payne said his client admitted to pushing Mr Pocklington but had no history of violence and was intoxicated.

Jake Ford’s defence lawyer Wendy Stewart said all parties were intoxicated and the incident was “young men arguing over a girlfriend”. She said Mr Bowman did not know Mr Pocklington and had no history of violence.

Magistrate Raelene Johnston said pushes could “easily erupt” into far more serious consequences, being in the early hours outside a nightclub.

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