A disability pensioner appeared to break down and told a court he was “so ashamed” when he was sentenced for the bloody glassing of his friend on Christmas Eve.
Colin George Dobbin’s long-time friend penned a victim impact statement that was read to the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday (2 September) in which he said he could have lost an eye to the attack.
“I don’t understand why he did it,” the friend said.
“I don’t trust the world anymore.
“It’s always on my mind that a so-called friend did that to me. I will never forgive him.”
Court documents show the victim and his partner played pool with Dobbin at the Burns Club in Kambah on the night of 23 December 2020.
Earlier the next morning, 24 December, the trio were in the smokers’ courtyard when Dobbin called out to a woman in a way that his victim thought was inappropriate.
His victim told him, “Pull your head in and calm down”.
The two began yelling at each other and the victim pushed Dobbin several times. Dobbin, who appeared to be very intoxicated, smashed a beer glass into his friend’s face, shattering the glass.
Closed-circuit television footage screened to the court showed his friend staggering to a table and dripping blood onto it.
The victim was taken to the Canberra Hospital soon after the assault and stayed there until Christmas Day.
Dobbin later told police he did not remember attacking his friend. The 53-year-old from Kambah pleaded guilty to a charge of assault.
His lawyer, Henry Marjason of Marjason & Marjason, described the assault as one of those times when someone makes a choice in the heat of the moment after consuming a significant amount of alcohol when normally they would have walked away.
He said his client had reacted to a perceived threat. Dobbin suffers from a serious injury that has left him unable to work.
Magistrate Beth Campbell said while she suspected Dobbin had been a “nuisance” that night, it was clear that, for a while at least, it appeared his victim was the aggressor. She said the argument looked like it involved “shirtfronting”.
She said she could not be satisfied Dobbin deliberately glassed his victim with the intention of causing him harm and accepted the assault was not something he would normally do.
But she said the victim still spent a day in hospital and may have a lasting scar.
“In the spur of the moment, you acted very badly,” she told Dobbin.
Magistrate Campbell sentenced him to five months’ jail, suspended for a 12-month good behaviour order.
Dobbin looked like he was about to break down after the sentencing, uttering “I’m so ashamed” before leaving.