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Jail for brutal bashing of cyclist

The Northern Star: Jail for brutal bashing of cyclist

Ross Irby | 5th March 2010

IN A cowardly and unprovoked attack, Martin Nixon punched a Lismore cyclist in the jaw then fled the scene with his mates, leaving the injured man lying unconscious on the road.

During the assault one of his young mates kicked the unconscious cyclist in the head.

Nixon, 21, from Goonellabah, was jailed this week after pleading guilty in the Lismore Local Court to assault and causing bodily harm to the cyclist in Lismore on October 3, 2008.

Magistrate Robyn Denes sentenced Nixon to 18 months’ jail, with a non-parole period of eight months. With time already served Nixon will be eligible for release on June 26.

He was then ordered to attend Rekindling the Spirit to receive drug and alcohol counselling.

Nixon was aged 18 at the time of his random attack on the cyclist in Brewster Street, Lismore.

After Nixon stopped the cyclist, the rider told him he did not want a fight before being punched.

Police facts before the court stated that one of Nixon’s teenage mates then kicked the cyclist in the head as he lay unconscious.

Witnesses to the attack helped the victim and called an ambulance to take him to Lismore Base Hospital.

Defence lawyer Hugh van Dugteren detailed his client’s deprived background, his time spent living with foster parents where he was assaulted by one foster mother, and his alcohol and drug use.

Ms Denes said it was time for Nixon to take charge of his own life and not follow the lead of others in offending.

“Take charge. Not assault a fellow on a pushbike leaving him for dead,” she said.

“He has to stand up and become the man he wants to become.”

Ms Denes said Nixon could spend his life going in and out of Grafton Jail, or take the step and find good role models in the indigenous community who did not get drunk or take part in street fights, and ‘who don’t use the things that happen in their life as an excuse to punch someone out’.

Nixon was arrested on December 24 last year after he was found with a group of young people at the rear of the Big Prawn in Ballina after breaching his bail conditions.

He had left the Balunda-a residential rehabilitation program which had been a condition of his court-imposed bail.