One-punch, conspiracy lead to jail

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser
Albany man Tobiah Pocklington received multiple facial injuries including a broken jaw which will require surgery after he was the victim of a one punch assault.
Camera IconAlbany man Tobiah Pocklington received multiple facial injuries including a broken jaw which will require surgery after he was the victim of a one punch assault. Credit: Megan Powell The West Australian.

A Mt Barker man will spend at least 21 months behind bars for a coward’s punch outside Albany’s Studio 146 nightclub that left his victim with a fractured skull and broken jaw.

Samuel Donald Ford, 24, was handed a 31/2year jail sentence for grievous bodily harm and conspiring to defeat the course of justice.

District court Judge Belinda Lonsdale made Ford eligible for parole after telling Albany District Court on Monday the 24-year-old had shown no “true remorse” for his victim Tobiah Pocklington.

Mr Pocklington, left, suffered a fractured skull, hairline fractures around his eye sockets, a shattered tooth and a fractured jaw requiring a steel plate after being king-hit from behind early on July 29, 2018.

Before Ford’s king-hit, Mr Pocklington was being confronted by Ford’s brother Jake, who was later charged with common assault, and his friend Paul Bowman and another male, the court was told.

Judge Lonsdale said Mr Pocklington had no chance to defend himself from Ford’s assault, while he was being “effectively” surrounded by three other men in the middle of Stirling Terrace.

“There was CCTV footage captured of the incident, and it clearly showed the offender striking the victim from behind in such a way that the victim had no reasonable chance of defending himself from the blow,” Judge Lonsdale said.

“The footage also shows the offender pulling a hooded jumper over his head as he approached the victim.”

Albany man Tobiah Pocklington received multiple facial injuries including a broken jaw which will require surgery after he was the victim of a one punch assault.
Camera IconAlbany man Tobiah Pocklington received multiple facial injuries including a broken jaw which will require surgery after he was the victim of a one punch assault. Credit: Megan Powell The West Australian.

Drawing from the victim impact report, Judge Lonsdale told the court the attack had left a “profound effect” on Mr Pocklington’s ability to socialise and had financially impacted him in the form of time off work, medical bills and travel expense.

“He said after 12 months, he feels 90 per cent recovered, but still feels a bit shaky on his neck,” the judge said. “He still has discomfort in his jaw, especially in cold weather.

“So, Mr Ford, it might have only been one punch, but as you can see, it has had a severe impact upon your victim.

“Rather than accept responsibility for what you did, you then went on to try and involve somebody else in a serious criminal offence.”

A total of 18 months of Ford’s sentence came from a $20,000 offer made to Jeremy Ethan Gregory to provide a false alibi witness.

Ford pleaded guilty to conspiring to to defeat the course of justice while being held in remand at the Albany Regional Prison, an offence which Judge Lonsdale said “strikes at the very heart of our justice system”.

Ford’s sentence was back-dated to February 28. Mr Gregory is due to appear in Albany Magistrate’s Court today on a conspiracy to defeat justice charge.

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