A FORMER Warrnambool member of the outlaw Rebels motorcycle gang who inflicted life-threatening injuries on a rowdy neighbour and then partly tore his own partner’s nose has been jailed.
Mark Andrew Douglas, 45, previously of Bates Road, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court to three violent assaults.
He was sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment and will have to spend 12 months in jail before being eligible for parole.
Police told the court that at 7.30pm on June 23 a highly intoxicated man was at the Bates Road flats where Douglas lived and yelling obscenities at neighbours. A woman chased a man back to his flat and police were called about the disturbance.
When police arrived the drunk man assured them he would remain in his unit, but soon after he was back yelling obscenities at neighbours.
Douglas confronted the man and there was a fight which involved Douglas punching the man to the head a number of times.
The victim was found lying on Verdon Street. He suffered head and facial injuries and he was admitted to Warrnambool Base Hospital before being flown by air ambulance to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne.
As well as severe facial injuries he suffered fractures to his skull, bruising to his brain and damage to the back of his head. Doctors described his injuries as life-threatening. He was placed in an induced coma and spent more than a month in hospital, much of it in intensive care.
Douglas told police he approached the man who ran off, and claimed the drunk man threw part of a brick which hit him on his bare foot.
Douglas said he then punched the man to the head but when the victim attempted to fight back he hit him another four times before the man fell onto the nature strip, where he was propped up on an elbow.
Douglas said he then left and “at worst” the man had suffered a broken nose. The victim was too drunk to give police his version of events.
The court also heard that on October 21 Douglas and his girlfriend had been drinking when they argued — Douglas punching then grabbing and ripping her nose. She suffered a gaping laceration to her nose and cuts to her lips, face and neck. The woman refused to make a statement to police or provide a victim impact statement. Police said that on June 8 Douglas was having a verbal disagreement with a man in Wickham Court when officers arrived. As they tried to move Douglas he punched the victim to the face. The victim also refused to make a statement to police.
Defence counsel Matt Senia said it was conceded that his client, who has prior convictions, would have to serve a term in prison.
He said Douglas was a large and powerful man but had not intended to inflict the injuries suffered by his two main victims.
Mr Senia said Douglas had only a fleeting memory of the incident involving his girlfriend because he had been drinking.
“They argued, he was hit with a bottle and he called police,” he said. “He cannot contemplate what he did to his partner. She means everything to him and he hopes she will be able to forgive him.”
The woman was in court supporting Douglas.
Magistrate Michael Coghlan said the charges were among the most serious which could be heard in the magistrates court.
He told Douglas he should have a look at the photos of his victims and then a good look at himself in the mirror while serving his prison term.