View Comments

A Karratha nightclub owner has been jailed for more than six years over an unprovoked one-punch assault against a drunk patron.

Sean Spence, 38, was today sentenced in the District Court for causing grievous bodily harm and also attempting to obstruct the course of justice by switching CCTV cameras when police investigated the assault.

He was today handed a sentence of six-and-a-half years in jail, with the court told that his victim, Adrian Armstrong, had suffered serious brain injuries and had to have part if his skull removed.

Today, Judge Simon Stone said the Karratha businessman and father had been in a position of responsibility and should have known better than to assault a vulnerable drunk customer.

The court was told Mr Armstrong had been with two other men who were being ejected when he was assaulted in the club's carpark in February 2012.

The Irishman's victim impact statement described the seriousness of his injuries, which had left him in a coma for days and needing surgery.

"It was the biggest fright in my life to look in the mirror to see my head completely out of shape and a part of my skull removed," Mr Armstrong said in his statement.

Judge Stone said it was fortunate and a testament to modern medicine and Mr Armstrong's strength that he was able to recover as well as he had, although the long-term effects were still unknown.

The judge took into account Spence's previous good character, co-operation with the prosecution during his trial, and his remorse and concern for his victim - noting he had offered to financially compensate Mr Armstrong in addition to his punishment.

But Judge Stone also said the crimes were each serious examples of their type.

The assault had been unprovoked and on a vulnerable victim who had not been any threat to Spence.

Similarly, the attempt to obstruct justice was also serious, and had seen Spence involve staff in the deception and led police to at one stage question one of Mr Armstrong's friends as the possible culprit.

Spence, who the court was told had been taking positive steps in prison, was made eligible for parole and can apply for release after serving four-and-a-half years.

The sentence was backdated to August.