RSA update: One Alcohol Fuelled Punch can result in a Fatality
Something that may surprise a lot of people is the fact that many alcohol fuelled assaults which have turned fatal are actually the result of just one punch. According to statistics one-punch assaults have resulted in the death of 90 Australians since 2000, most of these incidents were alcohol fuelled.
According to the study, the 90 victims were killed by a single blow to the head or when they fell unconscious and struck their head against the ground.
The study was conducted by researchers at Monash University who discovered that most of the victims were knocked unconscious while at a licensed venue or outside of the venue on their way home.
A researcher at the University’s department of forensic medicine, Jennifer Pilgrim said that alcohol was involved in almost all of the deaths that were recorded between 2000 and 2012 and perhaps even more concerning is the fact that most of the victims in these incidents who died did not even know their attackers. In other words they were just random acts of violence, which makes the idea of alcohol fuelled assaults even scarier, to think that most of them are unprovoked.
People who think they can get away with just one blow will be held accountable and may face up to 20 years in prison if that blow results in a fatality.
The following is an excerpt from an article on Smh.com.au that explains more about the research and its findings,
”There was a brief altercation with someone they just met five minutes ago,” Dr Pilgrim said. ”One person throws a punch. A person goes down, hits their head and never again regains consciousness.”
NSW had the highest number of king-hits (28), followed by Victoria and Queensland (24 cases each).
Recently, the NSW state government joined Western Australia and the Northern Territory in pursuing one-punch laws.
The move followed public disgust at the four-year minimum sentence given to the killer of 18-year-old Thomas Kelly, who was king-hit by a young man on a Kings Cross bashing spree.
But Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark said the state government had no plans for change, because existing dangerous act manslaughter laws already carried a penalty of up to 20 years in jail.
The researchers deduced that more than 40 per cent of fatal punches happened between the hours of midnight and 6am so people in entertainment districts should be particularly cautious around these times.
The NSW police superintendent Pat Paroz did not express any sympathy for the perpetrators of such crimes, reaffirming that getting drunk and beating people up is not normal and people who think it is must pay for their crimes. He went on to state:
”It is not normal to get intoxicated and then beat someone up and we shouldn’t accept that, because a person was intoxicated, it somehow reduces their level of accountability for their actions,” Superintendent Paroz said.
St Vincent Hospital’s emergency department director, Gordian Fulde, treats four or five ”absolutely obvious” king-hits while working at the hospital every Friday or Saturday night.
”There is no reason for it,” he said. ”Usually the person is not expecting it.”
It is for this reason that Professor Fulde supports the forced closure of pubs and clubs at a certain time. Experts have also supported this move, saying that there is evidence that limiting trading hours to 3am can reduce assaults by more than 30 per cent.
John Green, of the NSW branch of the Australian Hotels Association, said proactive measures by hoteliers have helped bring assaults in or around licensed premises to the lowest level in 15 years.
”It’s not good enough any more to use hotels as whipping posts,” he said. ”We need to target those thugs in the community who think it is OK to pre-fuel and hit people.”