Nowra man refused bail over king hit attack

A 36-year-old Nowra man charged over a one-punch attack on a 70-year-old man in Nowra on Valentine’s Day has been refused bail.

Luke Stuart Farbridge, of Pleasant Way, appeared in Nowra Local Court on Monday charged with reckless wounding and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The court heard the unprovoked attack left the man, who walks with the aid of a walking stick, with 20 stitches in a facial wound under his right eye.

The alleged attack happened between 6.35pm and 6.41pm on February 14, while the man and a woman were walking along Riverview Road on the banks of the Shoalhaven River.

The court heard Farbridge was seen by witnesses running toward the man and “king hitting” him.

In opposing bail, police prosecutor Kerry Patterson said Farbridge had a lengthy criminal record including malicious wounding, numerous assault charges, contravening apprehended violence orders and non compliance of court orders.

“This was an unprovoked attack that caused a severe laceration to the man’s face that needed 20 stitches under his right eye,” she said.

The prosecution said it had a strong case with a number of independent witnesses to the incident.

“The accused made admission to police regarding striking the victim and identification is not an issue in this matter,” Ms Patterson said.

“There is all likelihood of a custodial sentence and granting bail would be an unacceptable risk, including possible interference with the victim and the possibility he will commit other crimes.”

Farbridge, who is a single parent lives at the Gateway Caravan Park where he is employed as a maintenance man, told the court be was “upset with himself” over the attack.

Through duty solicitor Natalia Goozeff he applied for bail which was formally refused by Magistrate Dr Gabriel Fleming.

Ms Goozeff said as well as looking after his children Farbridge had ongoing medical issues including colitis and kidney stones and was in the process of getting a mental health care plan.

“He has a strong connection with the community, not only looking after his children but works in the van park,” she said.

“He is a minimal risk. The victim is a stranger to him.

“While he has a lengthy criminal record he has not had a offence recorded against him in six years.”

She said he was also willing to offer up significant securities to secure his bail.

Magistrate Fleming said with no plea entered and the likelihood the matter would be referred to the district court and having seen photographs of the victim she had serious concerns.

“Your criminal history is lengthy, with matters of serious violence,” she said.

“A number of these offences are extremely serious.

“This 70-year-old man was hit out of the blue - it left him with 20 stitches in his face - it can be no more serious than that.

“Five independent witnesses saw you run at this man and strike him with a king hit.

“This is a very serious case.”

She said Farbridge was an unacceptable risk and refused bail.

He will reappear in Nowra Local Court via video link on March 8.

File photo.

File photo.

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