Man launched ‘frenzied attack’ on flatmate

Lyndon Ralston (40) was jailed for two years, eight months for the protracted beating of his...
Lyndon Ralston (40) was jailed for two years, eight months for the protracted beating of his former flatmate. PHOTO: STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
A Dunedin man punched, kicked and heel-stomped his victim before smashing him unconscious with a vodka bottle, a court has heard.

Lyndon Daryl Ralston (40) and the 56-year-old man had been flatmates, the Dunedin District Court heard last week.

The defendant was in the kitchen of the Morningside home on September 7 last year, speaking to the victim who was on a couch a few metres away.

An argument was sparked and Ralston launched a “frenzied attack”, which began with 15 punches to the man’s head, Judge Kevin Phillips said.

Holding the flatmate down in a kneeling position, the defendant kicked him eight times before aiming a couple more punches to his head.

“The defendant raised his right foot up above the victim and heel-stomped [him] to his upper back near his spine,” the police summary said.

“He picked up a glass vodka bottle and struck the victim on the back of the head, knocking him unconscious.”

While the man lay motionless on the lounge floor, Ralston attempted to flee from the address with his girlfriend.

However, another occupant discovered what had gone on and confronted him.

An altercation took place between them but it was several months before police caught up with Ralston.

As a result of the attack, the victim was cut and bruised, experienced pain in his neck, shoulder and arms and lost a tooth, the court heard.

The defendant pleaded guilty to injuring with intent to do grievous bodily harm and
the judge noted that he had a track record of violence.

It had, though, been seven years since his last indiscretion.

Counsel Ann Leonard said her client had been bedevilled by alcohol problems since he was a teen.

He struggled to express his emotions, had suffered relationship failures and used substances as a crutch, she told the court.

Testament to that were charges of aggravated drink-driving and aggravated driving while disqualified, committed by Ralston in March this year.

Judge Phillips called the attack on the flatmate “extreme violence” and said the man was vulnerable because of his state of intoxication.

Ralston was jailed for two years, eight months and banned from driving for 18 months.

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