Knocked off feet in 1-hit assault

A VIOLENT thug who asked a man if he wanted “a shot at the title” before punching him so hard his head smashed into a footpath will spend at least a year behind bars.

Gary Todd Walker assaulted the man in Ballina in June 2003 and pleaded guilty to maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm in May the following year.

But he skipped the sentencing and a warrant was issued for his arrest. 

He wasn’t found until a year ago when he drove up to a police roadblock and failed to produce a licence.

Walker, now aged 50, has lived in Eurobin with his partner and two children since 2010 and claimed to have quit drinking immediately after the attack, which he later conceded wasn’t true.

He was arrested at the same time police had roadblocks in place in the North East in a bid to catch the Stoccos, but it was unclear if he was nabbed as part of that operation.

Walker recently appealed his sentence of two years in jail, with a minimum period of 12 months, in the the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal.

Court documents note the victim had been left with three plates permanently inserted into his jaw after the attack.

It was noted that Walker had not shown any remorse and had asked “why would I give a f---” when told of the victim’s condition.

The victim had been drinking at the Australian Hotel and was walking with two friends when Walker walked past about midnight on June 21, 2003.

He raised his voice and the victim turned around to ask if he wanted to speak to him, as he had a slight hearing problem.

“Do you want a shot at the title,” Walker said before punching the man to the left side of his face.

He was “knocked off his feet” and landed heavily on the footpath, hitting his head and rendering him unconscious for up to five minutes with blood coming from his mouth. Walker gave a false name when police arrived and could not be interviewed due to his aggressive behaviour, but claimed to have “just tapped him". 

He has prior convictions in 1987, 1989, 1993, 2002 and 2003 on charges of malicious injury, assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and carrying an offensive weapon. 

He also appears to have a 2008 assault matter pending in Queensland. 

Justice Fabian Gleeson dismissed his appeal and noted that the sentence imposed “was not unreasonable or plainly unjust".