Queensland's sorry history of one punch and bashing deaths and injuries

Queensland's sorry history of one punch and bashing deaths and injuries

The death of Cole Miller after an assault in Fortitude Valley has once again shocked a Queensland community that still struggles to understand how or why such things happen.

His name joins a tragic list of people who have died in similar incidents throughout the state in recent years.

Almost a decade ago Matthew Stanley, 15, was bashed to death outside an 18th birthday party at a Brisbane bayside hotel. His attacker, who was just 16 at the time, later plead guilty to manslaughter.

In 2009 former Brisbane Bronco Todd Parnell was felled in a brawl at a post-match party on Bribie Island. Just 22 years old, he was taken off life support two days later. Wally James Hung was charged with his murder, but was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for almost seven years.

Chaplains were joined by a group of Cole Miller's closest friends to mourn his death.

Chaplains were joined by a group of Cole Miller's closest friends to mourn his death.

Photo: Jorge Branco

Barely more than a month later 15-year-old Jai Morcom was killed in a fight at Mullumbimby High School just over the border in New South Wales. Despite doctors' efforts he died at Gold Coast Hospital.

Andrew Houlihan, 23, was caught up in a brawl between two groups of men at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast in September 2009. CCTV footage showed he was knocked to the ground with a punch to the head and then punched again on the ground. The brawl then continued around Mr Houlihan as he lay unconscious on the ground.

In March 2009 Malcolm Butterworth died when he was punched outside a Toogoolawah pub, west of Ipswich. He suffered multiple skull fractures in what a court heard was an argument over boots. A 25-year-old man was charged with manslaughter over the incident and he had been acting in self defence. A Brisbane Supreme Court jury found him not guilty.

In April 2010 homeless man James Grace was punched in the back of the head in Brisbane's east, knocking him unconscious and causing him to suffer a traumatic brain injury. His attacker, William James Kiss, was jailed for four years, suspended after 12 months. The court heard Kiss had returned to his badly injured victim and said "next time I'll kill you".

In late November 2013 Australian Rules coach Wayne Dover died when he was attacked outside a Maroochydore nightclub. Three men were initially charged with his murder, but at a committal hearing a magistrate determined there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a murder trial, instead subtituting manslaughter charges.

In February 2014 Bruce Steensen was walking along The Esplanade in Mooloolaba in the early hours of a Saturday morning when he was allegedly punched in the head. He was rushed to Nambour General Hospital but died later that day. A 21-year-old man was charged with the murder of the Brisbane man.

55-year-old Brisbane man Leon Yeaman died after an argument over loud music with his neighbour in April 2015. Phillip Pama, 28, allegedly confronted Mr Yeaman over the volume of his music and punched him in the face. Mr Yeaman never regained consciousness. Mr Pama has been charged with manslaughter.

Lindsay Ede, a 55-year-old father of four, died weeks after he was allegedly bashed in a residential street in Goodna in June 2015. 19-year-old Ariik Mayot was initially charged with causing grievous bodily harm, but police said the charge would be upgraded ti unlawful striking causing death.

Trevor Duroux, a 40-year-old father and grandfather, died less than a month ago after a 10-day battle for life in the Gold Coast University Hospital. He was allegedly punched in the head outside the Coolangatta Hotel on December 4 and fell to the ground, hitting his head. Eighteen-year-old Tristan Heather's grievous bodily harm charge was upgraded to unlawful striking causing death following Mr Duroux's passing.

Most Viewed in National


Morning & Afternoon Newsletter

Delivered Mon–Fri.

By signing up you accept our privacy policy and conditions of use