A British soccer player has been jailed for two-and-a-half years over a vicious nightclub attack which left a Bunbury man almost blind in one eye.
Ross Diamond, 30, was today sentenced in the Perth District Court to 30 months imprisonment for causing grievous bodily harm to Jack Wauhop at Bunbury's Exit Nightclub after he went to the defence of his cousin, reality TV star, Renae Wauhop on April 24 last year.
Diamond, who was found guilty following a five-day trial in Bunbury in May, had his sentence backdated to May and he was made eligible for parole, which could see him released from prison after he has served 15 months of his sentence.
State prosecutor Tatiyajith Karunaratne told the court the assault had been an "unprovoked senseless attack" which occurred after Mr Wauhop tried to intervene after his cousin was being harassed on the dancefloor and he had been left with a fractured eye socket andonly about 50 per cent vision in his right eye.
The court was told Mr Wauhopfell to the ground after being hit to the face and had said it had "felt like a very blunt force" and did not feel like a fist but Judge Simon Stone said he was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that an object was used to inflict Mr Wauhop's eye injury and he accepted Diamond had used his fist to punch him.
In his sentencing submissions, defence counsel Seamus Rafferty argued his client, who came to Australia on a 457 visa from the United Kingdom last year, was a young man with "impeccable antecedents" and was deeply remorseful about the assault.
In sentencing Diamond to an immediate term of imprisonment, Judge Stone said the attack had left Mr Wauhop with a permanent injury to his eye which had had significant consequences on his lifestyle and employment prospects.
"He's going to be left with the consequences of that (injury) for the rest of his life," Judge Stone said.
Judge Stone said Diamond had shown remorse and deep regret, but this was limited in the context that the matter went to trial and he accepted that a prison sentence would be harder on him as he did not have family in Australia.
He said alcohol had been a contributing factor in Diamond's offending and the assault had been a "senseless act of violence" which was spontaneous and involved one punch.
In sentencing Diamond, Judge Stone said he took into account his prior good character, that his family was in the United Kingdom, he had co-operated during the trial process and had shown deep regret and remorse for what had happened to Mr Wauhop.
Diamond was sentenced to 30 months immediate imprisonment with parole eligibility and his sentence backdated to May.
Judge Stone also made an order for a life-time violence restraining order.