Man to complete community service for breaking man's jaw

NO JAIL: An Orange man who punched another man at a party breaking his jaw in 2015 has been ordered to complete 350 hours of community service. FILE PHOTO
NO JAIL: An Orange man who punched another man at a party breaking his jaw in 2015 has been ordered to complete 350 hours of community service. FILE PHOTO

A man who punched another man at a party, fracturing his jaw, was ordered to complete 350 hours of community service in Orange Local Court on Monday.

Andrew Whitmore, 20, of Molloy Drive pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm by an unlawful act.

Whitmore’s solicitor Rebecca McIlveen said since he punched the victim on August 7, 2015, he has stopped using methamphetamine and has attended drug and alcohol counselling.

“He has no record for violent offences,” Ms McIlveen said.

Contrary to a police report which claimed Whitmore walked up and punched the victim, Ms McIlveen said her client reacted in self defence.

“He went to a party with his then girlfriend, he arrived with a six-pack of alcohol, most of the people at the party were intoxicated and he had two drinks from his six-pack,” she said.

“He didn’t know anyone particularly well except his girlfriend.

“The victim took umbrage to Mr Whitmore asking for keys to the homeowners vehicle.”

Ms McIlveen said the victim was intoxicated and attempted to punch her client first but his punch did not connect and Whitmore retaliated.

The victim was left with a bleeding mouth and once police were contacted he was taken to Orange hospital by ambulance and following an x-ray and was taken to Westmead Hospital for emergency surgery.

He required four plates, 14 screws and 11 stitches to repair two fractures.

“It wasn’t his intention to deliver such a devastating blow,” Ms McIlveen said.

The police report said Whitmore arrived at a small house party in Samuel Close at 8.30pm.

While the guests played card games inside, the victim was playing on his PlayStation in the shed.

The police report said the victim heard the front door open at one stage and went outside to see what was happening and saw Whitmore drive off in the resident’s car.

He returned five or 10 minutes later and the victim confronted Whitmore who instead of answering when asked why he took the car, punched him.

Magistrate Terry Lucas reprimanded Whitmore saying the victim had a broken jaw and would have screws in his jaw for the rest of his life.

“If I go to a party and no one wants me there then I tend to leave,” Mr Lucas said. 

He said he had been considering sentencing him to full-time custody until hearing Ms McIlveen’s defence.