Hammer-wielding skull crusher guilty of attempted murder

RECOVERED: Gympie father Timothy Udris, who survived a hammer attack in June, 2014, outside Brisbane Supreme Court with his wife Emily.
RECOVERED: Gympie father Timothy Udris, who survived a hammer attack in June, 2014, outside Brisbane Supreme Court with his wife Emily. Jessica Grewal

A GYMPIE man who savagely attacked a father with a hammer to the point where his brain was left exposed has been found guilty of attempted murder.

Glen Reginald Francis, 38, dealt a skull crushing blow to Timothy Udris at a Monkland home in June 2014.

The pair had just returned from a trip to Hervey Bay where they and local drug dealer Terry McEwan hoped to source a "garbage bag full” of cold and flu tablets for a methamphetamine cook.

They were unsuccessful and by the time they arrived back in Gympie, tensions had reached boiling point.

The three-day trial heard Francis accused Mr Udris of "running (his) name around town” and yelled "you're dead” before repeatedly punching his victim as he sat on a couch.

When Mr Udris, an experienced mixed martial arts fighter, laughed at Francis, he became visibly infuriated and called out to a friend to pass him a hammer.

Francis struck Mr Udris in the head, causing his skull to shatter like a "boiled egg” and tearing through his brain lining.

Francis initially pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.

The plea was rejected by Crown Prosecutor Jacob Robson who said the fact that Francis fled the scene without offering any assistance to his victim was proof he "wished him dead”.

It took the jury just three hours to reach their verdict. A previous trial ended with a hung jury.

Francis's adopted mother, respected Aboriginal elder Lillian Burke, wept as details of his childhood were read out.

The court heard Ms Burke, who works with Cooloola Aboriginal Services and other community organisations throughout the Wide Bay, came across Francis when he was a troubled 12-year-old, living off the streets in Western Australia.

Ms Burke was visiting her family at the time and brought Francis back to Queensland where she raised him as her own son.

But the court heard that despite Ms Burke's best efforts, Francis had "consistently and persistently re-offended” and nine stints in jail had not been enough to encourage him to "reconsider his lifestyle'.

Francis was to be sentenced on Wednesday but Justice John Byrne said while it was clear Mr Udris was lucky to be alive, there was no clear medical evidence about how the attack had impacted his life.

He was sceptical of claims the attack had condemned both Mr Udris and his wife Emily, who was now his carer, to raising their children solely on government benefits when both were already reliant on Centrelink payments before.

He said there was also evidence Mr Udris had received serious injuries in two car accidents long before the attack.

Sentencing was adjourned so a full medical report could be prepared.


Topics:  attempted murder glen reginald francis