Jail likely: Judge tells man who punched Adam Ford to 'get his affairs in order'

TONY Mack McLean choked back tears and said he was “truly and deeply sorry” for what he had done to Orange man Adam Ford but he maintained he was provoked. 

McLean punched Mr Ford in the back of the head, rendering him unconscious and with bleeding on the brain, on March 24, 2013, after a verbal argument outside the Royal Hotel in the early hours of the morning. 

Mr Ford read out his victim impact statement during the Queanbeyan footballer’s sentencing hearing at Orange District Court yesterday and looked the 24-year-old in the eye when he told him he had been diagnosed with brain damage. 

“[Doctors] can not tell me how long it will take or if I will ever be the same again,” Mr Ford said. 

“In the news all you hear about is a cowardly punch ... I look at my wife and I see her in tears.”

Mr Ford said he suffered memory loss, depression, headaches and had “20 different personalities” since the attack which nearly killed him. 

“Every time [my wife] hears a helicopter she feels sick ... this incident has changed me and my family’s life forever,” he said. 

McLean responded in court and said he would not ask for forgiveness, but offered compensation to the Ford family. 

Talitha Hennessy acting for the director of public prosecutions challenged why McLean did not call an ambulance for Mr Ford, why he walked away after he punched him and why he sat on a kerb and watched the scene unfold without telling police who he was. 

“I was scared ... about what I’d done,” McLean told her.

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However Judge Stephen Norrish interjected and said Mr Ford was unconscious and “not on his knees calling out ‘who did that’?” 

“You must have known he was seriously injured,” Judge Norrish said. 

Ms Hennessy asked McLean if he remembered telling ACT Corrections officers that he did not believe his actions were acceptable nor did he believe he was not provoked. 

“You could have walked away ... but you didn’t,” she said. 

McLean’s barrister Anthony Hopkins told Judge Norrish that if he imposed a jail sentence on McLean he would be leaving McLean’s family without financial and emotional support and that people would become unemployed if McLean’s business was to close. 

Judge Norrish told him that is exactly what had happened to Mr Ford’s family. 

McLean is expected to be sentenced during the week and Judge Norrish told him to not assume he would be a free man after his next court appearance and to “get his affairs in order”. 

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