A man argued that he should be able to opt out of the Queensland legal system.
A man argued that he should be able to opt out of the Queensland legal system. ©istockphoto/DNY59

Finger tip biter refused appeal

A FORMER Gold Coast and Cronulla rugby league player who bit the tip off a man's finger during a pub brawl at Coolangatta has been refused leave to appeal against his jail sentence.

Scott Robert Freestone was sentenced in June to two years' jail after pleading guilty in the Southport District Court to two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm.

He was ordered to serve six months behind bars before being released on parole for the attack on Peter McLaughlin at a Coolangatta pub in November 2007.

The court was told Freestone, 45, knocked Mr McLaughlin to the ground during an unprovoked attack and then later fought him again in the street.

It was during the second fight he bit off the tip of one of Mr McLaughlin's fingers.

Freestone claimed he bit Mr McLaughlin's finger off to avoid his eyes being gouged.

Earlier this month lawyers for Freestone, who played professional rugby league with Cronulla and the Gold Coast in the '80s and '90s, argued in the Court of Appeal in Brisbane that the six-month custodial sentence was “manifestly excessive”.

The Court of Appeal unanimously rejected this argument, ruling the sentencing judge had correctly regarded the bite as a “grossly excessive response in the circumstances”.

Leave to appeal against sentence was refused.



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