A Grafton man will spend at least eight months behind bars.
A Grafton man will spend at least eight months behind bars.

Man spat victim’s flesh onto the floor, court hears

A GRAFTON man has been sentenced over an unprovoked attack where he bit a woman on the hand and left her with a gash the size of a 20c piece.

Nicholas Laurie, 35, pleaded guilty in Grafton Local Court to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was sentenced this week.

According to police facts tendered at court, on September 11 this year, Laurie was at the victim's premises at Tweed Heads.

At 11.20am he walked into the victim's kitchen where she said he needed to call probation and parole and offered him her phone.

The victim then said to return her phone and attempted to pass Laurie his phone when he grabbed the victim's right arm and bit her on the hand between the thumb and index finger.

Laurie then spat the victim's flesh out onto the floor. The bite caused a gash in the victim's hand about the size of a 20c piece.

Laurie then walked out the front door and towards a bus stop before he walked back to the victim's front yard where he dropped her phone and then left the area.

Laurie was arrested later that day when he was stopped by police for driving offences.

In Grafton Local Court on Monday, Laurie's solicitor made a submission for the matter to be dealt with by way of an intensive corrections order and cited his client's previous mental health problems.

Magistrate Karen Stafford rejected the submission and said the seriousness of the offence required a full-time prison sentence to recognise the harm to the victim and the community, as well as to denounce Laurie's conduct.

Ms Stafford did find special circumstances in the hardship Laurie would face while incarcerated, as well as his ongoing mental health issues.

Laurie was also sentenced for a number of other charges, including contravening an apprehended violence order and driving offences, including driving while not licensed and giving false information to police.

Ms Stafford imposed an aggregate sentence of two years, with a non-parole period of eight months.