‘Alone in a barn’: Former cop bashes man with wife
A former police officer and father of three threw a "flurry of punches" at a man who he thought had kissed his wife, a court has heard.
Joshua Wiersma's victim told police the former Toowoomba policeman of five years attacked him from behind at an '80s themed party on November 28 last year.
Police prosecutor Alison Johnstone said the victim was in a barn alone with Wiersma's wife when he stormed through the closed doors.
"He (the victim) said she became flirtatious, tried to kiss him at that point … (Wiersma) came through the barn doors, he was screaming at his wife," Sgt Johnstone said.
The victim said he was walking to his car when he was hit from behind.
"A flurry of punches were aimed at his head, he fell to the ground raised his arms to his protect his head in self-defence," Sgt Johnstone said.
She said the man suffered a cut below his right eye, severe bruising over his right jaw, swelling to his right ear and swelling and bruising over his scalp.
"He has pain and discomfort from the assault, he couldn't eat properly, he took a week off work for the injuries to heal," she said.
Wiersma's account of the incident was different to his victims' when he spoke to police on February 25.
"He was trying to get his wife to come to bed, she declined she insisted she wanted to stay in the barn with the complainant," Sgt Johnstone said.
"He witnessed the complainant and his wife being very close to one another, sitting on the lounge the complainant's arm was around the back of his wife, their legs were touching.
"He said he thought the two had kissed or were about to kiss."
Wiersma said he told the man to leave.
"He grabbed the complainant by the collar, walked him out the barn door, they fell over in the gravel and he then started to punch him," Sgt Johnstone said.
Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin asked Sgt Johnstone if they believed the victim's account or if they believed Wiersma's story.
She said police were happy to sentence Wiersma on his account of the incident.
Wiersma pleaded guilty in Noosa Magistrates Court on Tuesday to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm.
Sgt Johnstone said Wiersma was placed on probation for another assault occasioning bodily harm in 2018 and suggested a suspended sentence as an appropriate punishment.
A conviction was not recorded in 2018.
"He said he struck in account of loyalty to his wife, he said he believed the assault was justified and is fearful the … (victim) had taken advantage of his wife in her stupefied state," she said.
Duty lawyer Jane Bruxner said witnesses at the party believed Wiersma's wife and the victim were having an affair and he was supplying her with alcohol while other party goers were trying to replace it with water.
Wiersma suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues after a man, who was involved in a serious crash outside his Eumundi home, died in his arms.
She said the 2018 assault on his history happened shortly after the experience and was "unlike" to his current matter.
Ms Bruxner said her client was medicated for bipolar disorder and agreed a suspended sentence was appropriate.
"He takes full responsibility for his actions and accepts it wasn't the right way about dealing with the situation," she said.
"Any actual period of custody would be crushing given he's working and has a family to support."
Ms Bruxner said Wiersma was "incredibly remorseful" and could pay compensation.
Mr McLaughlin placed Wiersma on three months suspended sentence for three years.
He ordered Mr Wiersma to pay $500 in compensation to the victim.
"It seems to be a childish outburst by you," he said.
"I've heard you are a former police officer if anyone should know about the dangers about starting to punch someone to the head repeatedly … it's you.
"This is highly dangerous conduct."