By Carl Pfeiffer
A Central Land Council ranger who king-hit a stranger in an unprovoked attack, breaking his jaw and causing his mouth to fill up with blood, has been jailed for at least a year after breaching his bail conditions.
Malcolm Kenny, 40, pleaded guilty in the NT Supreme Court to unlawfully causing serious harm and a breach of bail after he punched a 22-year-old man during a night out in Alice Springs on May 31, 2019.
The court heard the father-of-five was intoxicated and walking from Bojangles Saloon towards KFC after 2am when the victim accidentally bumped into him, saying ‘sorry’ before Kenny punched him in the face, breaking his jaw and causing his mouth to fill up with blood.
Two police officers witnessed the assault and arrested Kenny, who returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.242.
The victim received two fractures to the left side of his jaw, and had to be evacuated from Alice Springs to Royal Darwin Hospital for surgery.
Kenny was released on bail two days later but breached his conditions last Sunday when police found him on the streets of Alice Springs at 6.15am in an intoxicated state.
He was taken into custody and returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.243.
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Chief Justice Michael Grant said tough new laws targeting king-hits meant Kenny, who has worked at the Central Land Council since 2008, must face time in prison.
“It was an unprovoked attack on the victim in the early hours of the morning while he was walking down the street minding his own business – the blow was obviously delivered with significant force,” Chief Justice Grant said.
“Circumstances in which drunken men coming out of licenced premises king-hit members of the public have been the subject of much discussion in the community over the past decade or so.
“The level of abhorrence for this type of offending has seen legislation directed to deterring that type of conduct enacted by the legislatures in most Australian jurisdictions.
“It explains in part why the Territory has enacted this mandatory sentencing regime for violent offending.”
He sentenced Kenny to three years jail, suspended after 12 months served.
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