A man has been jailed after he dropped a weight on another man’s head in gym.
Shane Ryan, 33, initially said it was an accident but before the case went to trial he changed his story and accepted it was deliberate.
Both men were working out Next Level Gym in Palmerston, northern Australia, when the unprovoked incident occurred.
Footage shows Ryan picking up a 20kg plate and walking towards his victim, who was lying on his back bench-lifting dumbbells.
He then appears to fake tripping up, lunging towards the victim and dropping the weight on his head.
He fell to the floor and suffered a fractured skull along with ‘significant and ongoing’ psychological problems in the attack.
Meanwhile, Ryan acted as though he had injured his ankle, stumbling away with his head in his hands.
He eventually returned to the man to help him and call an ambulance, the court heard.
In the run-up to the incident, the court heard relations between the two men had been amicable and friendly. It is not known what his motive was.
After pleading guilty on the first day of his trial, Ryan was sentenced to 19-months in prison. He will have to serve a minimum of 10-months before he is eligible for parole.
Justice John Burns described Ryan’s actions as ‘very dangerous’ and called the lack of ‘obvious motive’ for the attack ‘troubling’.
He said: ‘The victim was vulnerable as he was lying on his back and had weights in his hands, he was unable to protect himself — he also had no reason to believe that you would attack him as you did.
‘Where there is obvious motive for an offence it is often possible to assess the likelihood of the offender reoffending.
‘That is simply not possible in circumstances where there is no obvious motive and you have chosen not to shed any light on that issue.’