Publican gets 18 months? jail


FORMER Clarence Hotel licensee George Gordon Carpenter was sentenced yesterday to a total of 18 months in jail for assaulting two patrons outside the hotel in August last year.

Carpenter was sentenced in the Grafton District Court after pleading guilty in the Maclean Local Court in June this year to maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He will serve 18 months of parole after his release in May 2007.

The charges arose out of an incident at the Clarence Hotel last year where Carpenter assaulted the patrons after ejecting one of them from the premises.

As a result of the attack one suffered five broken ribs and a punctured lung and spent four days in intensive care in Lismore Base Hospital.

In sentencing yesterday, Carpenter's solicitor Mark Spagnolo made a submission to Judge Blackmore asking him to consider issues affecting Carpenter's state of mind at the time of the attack.

Mr Spagnolo said his client had admitted to a gambling addiction and alcohol problems and had received counselling since.

He said Carpenter had no significant record and his likelihood of re-offending was 'almost zero'.

Mr Spagnolo presented 17 testimonials to the judge speaking of Carpenter's good character, and said he 'just snapped' on the night.

Mr Spagnolo asked Judge Blackmore to take into consideration Carpenter's involvement in community and charity organisations when sentencing.

He asked for consideration of weekend or periodic detention sentence, rather than full jail.

But Judge Blackmore rejected that request and said the attacks were unprovoked, vicious and cowardly.

He said the seriousness of the assault warranted a custodial sentence because there was 'no room in the community for such violence'.

Judge Blackmore said he allowed a reduction in Carpenter's sentence because of his guilty plea, community involvement and good character and agreed with Mr Spagnolo that Carpenter's actions on the night resulted from a 'brain explosion'.

Judge Blackmore also ordered Carpenter to receive treatment for his gambling, alcohol and anger issues.

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