A Queensland man has been jailed for five years for the brutal bashing of two Irish backpackers who have been left with lifetime health issues.
Ashley John Moss pleased not guilty to grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning bodily harm but a jury in Cairns District Court found him guilty on Friday, March 15.
Moss hit Irish backpackers Owen Fogarty and Daniel McDermott in the head with a metal baseball bat after they got into an argument in front of his Mossman home in 2017.
The group of backpackers went to confront the father of three after he assaulted one of their friends earlier in the night, and the argument escalated.
Judge Dean Morzone told the court Moss' response was "grossly disproportionate, excessive and unreasonable", according to the ABC report.
"There was antagonistic behaviour between those in your yard and the tourists in response to the earlier assault and things became heated," he said.
"None [of the tourists] entered your yard and you could have retreated inside instead you took the time to collect a metal bat.”
After receiving emergency medical treatment in Australia, both Mr Fogarty and Mr McDermott returned to Ireland.
Mr McDermott lost hearing in his right ear and suffered tinnitus and seizures as a result of the bashing.
He was also on the wait list for a cochlear implant.
"His long-term prognosis is unclear," Judge Morzone said.
"He couldn't work for 10 weeks and still has a scar on his head. He also gets nervous in large groups and says he gets flashbacks to that night."
Moss broke down as he was sentenced.
"Your sister describes you as protective, kind and caring," Judge Morzone noted.
"Your otherwise good character is marred by a criminal history impacted by drugs and alcohol."
Moss was sentenced to five years in prison and will be eligible for parole on September 16, 2021.