6 February 2024

Real estate agent inflicted 'brutal' assault on ex-teacher at 20-year school reunion

| Albert McKnight
man in suit walking to court

Eduardo Duran, 40, approaches the courthouse for his sentencing on Monday. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A former soldier who now works in real estate has avoided being sent to jail for drunkenly attacking an ex-teacher at a school reunion, leaving him with serious injuries.

The former teacher at Caroline Chisholm School had gone out to Fenway Public House in Phillip on the evening of 17 September 2022; coincidentally, at the same time, the venue was hosting a 20-year reunion for the school’s students.

He was invited to join the gathering and spoke to Eduardo Duran, who was attending the reunion with his partner as she had gone to the school.

While they were speaking, Duran unexpectedly pulled the ex-teacher’s neck, making him lose his balance. He put his victim in a neck hold, grabbed a glass tumbler out of his victim’s hands and drank its contents.

Duran then punched the man in the face while holding the glass in his hand.

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Others intervened and pulled Duran away from his victim, whose glasses were broken and was left with significant injuries to his face that required medical attention, including stitches near his eye.

He went on to get an infection in his scar that required a surgical procedure.

After the incident, Duran had “casually” walked out of the pub, ACT Supreme Court Justice Louise Taylor said when sentencing the now-40-year-old for the unprovoked attack on Monday (5 February).

His alcohol use had increased at the time and he’d had 12 to 15 drinks before the assault.

The judge said the former teacher had suffered immediate and considerable pain as well as shock and trauma, and he had described his attacker’s actions as “shocking and rather brutal”.

Eduardo Duran smiled at the media waiting outside the courthouse. Photo: Albert McKnight.

The “confronting and traumatic experience” also had ongoing psychological impacts on him. Closed-circuit television footage of the incident showed he had tried to extricate himself from Duran.

Nicaragua-born Duran has five children and mostly lives in Sydney.

He joined the Australian Army and served for 12 years, including tours to Afghanistan and East Timor.

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Justice Taylor said he’d claimed the court proceedings for this case and the media reporting on it had affected his business.

She said he had shown remorse, accepted responsibility, was intensively engaged in psychological intervention and appeared to have significantly reduced his alcohol use.

His alcohol consumption provided some explanation as to why he behaved in such an appalling way, she said.

Duran pleaded guilty to a charge of assault. He was convicted and sentenced to 14 months’ jail, fully suspended for a two-year good behaviour order.

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