Case of mistaken identity as man king hits a stranger

IT WAS a case of mistaken identity that led to Tevita Feiloakitau king hitting a stranger.

The victim, a 22-year-old man, fell to the ground unconscious. The single blow resulted in two fractures to the man's jaw, one of which was a compound fracture that required the insertion of a plate and screws.

No words were spoken before Feiloakitau, then 21, landed the blow to the right side of the man's face, Crown prosecutor Brendan Manttan said.

The victim had been sitting at a Mackay nightclub with his back to the entrance and didn't see Feiloakitau approach. Feiloakitau told officers he and his friend had had an altercation with the man earlier that night. The victim denied any such lead-up, the District Court in Mackay was told.

Mr Manttan said the Crown didn't accept Feiloakitau's version and described it as an "unprovoked attacked in a public venue" that caused serious injury.

Feiloakitau pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.

Defence barrister Scott McLennan said CCTV footage showed a group of men and woman mouthing off to the defendant and his friend, but it was unclear whether or not the victim was part of that group. "A case of mistaken identity and intoxication led to that error," he said.

Feiloakitau had no criminal history prior to this offending. He also volunteered his time to the community coaching rugby league for 11-year-olds.

Mr McLennan said Feiloakitau was a skilled player, however, he received an injury to his left wrist during one of his first rugby league games after moving to Mackay in 2012. "The offence, your honour, is very much out of character," he said.

Judge Brendan Butler accepted that but said the need for deterrence required some period of actual jail to be served. Now 22, he was imprisoned for 18 months to be released after three months and the balance suspended for two years.


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