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'Unprovoked and unwarranted': Judge spares young man jail time for brutal assault at George Town Motor Inn

Pulse Tasmania
The victim was left in need of surgery for fractures to his cheek, jaw and sinus. Image / Radu Bercan

A young man who left a semi-mutual friend with a fractured cheekbone and sinus after a single punch in an “entirely unprovoked and unwarranted” attack has been sentenced to five months in prison, suspended.

Zane Marinkovic-Cooke, 20, was at a social function at the George Town Motor Inn in July 2023 when he accused the victim of stealing alcohol at a previous gathering several months earlier and pushed him.


The court heard the victim moved away from the confrontation, but Marinkovic-Cooke followed him and punched him to the side of the face without warning, causing him to fall to the ground.

The victim was sent to the hospital next day with soreness where a CT scan revealed a complex fracture to the left cheek and jaw area and a fracture to the left sinus, which required surgery.

In his impact statement, the victim said he experienced considerable pain for many weeks post-surgery and was unable to chew properly for months due to pain and stiffness in his jaw.

The Launceston Magistrates Court. Image / Pulse

He also spoke of the psychological impact of the assault, saying he felt scared, vulnerable and withdrawn from friends and social outings, as the incident forced him to stop volunteer work he enjoyed and caused financial loss due to time off work.

Supreme Court Justice Tamara Jago said the defendant recognises that “very serious, at times fatal consequences can flow from a single strike of this nature”.

She accepted the defendant’s guilty plea, which she said was indicative of remorse and acknowledged that violence is out of character for him.


“It goes without saying that all forms of violence are unacceptable,” Jago said.

“The defendant’s conduct in delivering a hard blow to the head area of the complainant without warning is to be condemned.”

Jago imposed a five-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

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