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Tasmanian man avoids jail with 7-day suspended sentence after drunken assault at Shorewell home

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Burnie Supreme and Magistrates Court. Image / Pulse

A Tasmanian man who punched a close friend he considered his “little brother” while drunk has been given a suspended prison sentence of just seven days.

Luke Rankin appeared in the Supreme Court on a charge of assault after striking the man in the head on January 22 of last year at a home in Shorewell.


Chief Justice Alan Blow told Rankin that he was only before the court due to other charges that were dropped, not because of the assault.

“You had too much to drink. You became angry with him, and you punched him once to the head when he was trying to back away from you and telling you not to hit him,” Chief Justice Blow said.

“You did not hurt him badly.”

Chief Justice Alan Blow

Rankin spent a night in custody after the incident and has a history of convictions for assault, destroying property and other acts of violence towards people and property.

The Chief Justice noted that Rankin understands his drinking problem and is now abstaining from alcohol with the help of his new partner, with whom he has a child on the way.

“You have every reason to stay out of trouble and you are apparently on friendly terms with the man you punched,” Blow said.


“He did not want this prosecution to go ahead, although that is only a small point. You pleaded guilty … That is a much more important point.”

Blow sentenced Rankin to seven days in prison, fully suspended for 18 months.

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