Mandurah: Calem Milburn-Thomas walks free despite being convicted of ‘savage’ attack on Glenn Palmer in August 2014


Glenn Palmer before and after the August 2014 attack.
Glenn Palmer before and after the August 2014 attack.

A MAN walked free from court today despite being found guilty of what was described as a “savage” attack on a Mandurah father while he lay unconscious on the ground.

Calem Milburn-Thomas was sentenced to two years and six months in jail, suspended for 18 months, for doing an act with intent to harm that endangered the health or safety of Glenn Macgregor Palmer.

Mr Palmer was left with nerve damage to his face and posttraumatic stress following the attack.

Milburn-Thomas and his co-accused Gareth Jay Hitchcock pleaded not guilty to the August 2014 attack.

Only Milburn-Thomas was found guilty.

Milburn-Thomas and Mr Palmer were both at family events at pubs in Mandurah.

Mr Palmer was at his son’s 21st and Milburn-Thomas his grandfather’s 90th birthday.

Judge Philip Richard Eaton said both men were celebrating in a “very male way” before the attack.

He said the two groups were outside Murphy’s Irish Pub when they became involved in “a combination of fights in the darkness”.

During the altercation, Milburn-Thomas held Mr Palmer’s shirt and hit him forcefully to the head.

Mr Palmer was also punched to the face and knocked to the ground unconscious.

While he was laying unconscious Milburn-Thomas took a swing at him, then ran up and kicked him in the back.

Judge Eaton said by the time Milburn-Thomas kicked Mr Palmer he was not a threat.

Mr Palmer was admitted to Peel Health Campus where he admitted to taking two dexamphetamine tablets and drinking alcohol.

He was transferred to Royal Perth Hospital.

Judge Eaton said Milburn-Thomas had drunk 12 pints by 5.30pm on the day of the offence.

He was refused service at the bar because he had had too much to drink and went outside for a cigarette.

He was then kicked out of Murphy’s after his father was involved in an altercation.

While he was outside he punched the window of a parked police car.

“It is clear to me that in your drunken state, you confused what was happening outside the bar with what involved your father inside the bar,” Judge Eaton said.

“What you did was not simply the result of poor judgement. But rather in large part was in the drunken confusion in which you exercised little or not self-control.”

Judge Eaton said Milburn-Thomas acted savagely.

He pointed out similar attacks occasionally led to death.

“General deterrence has a significant role to play, it refers to the prevalence of alcohol fuelled violence in public places, often at or shortly before closing time,” Judge Eaton said.

“We see these reports in the media and in the press all too often.”