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Sam Rowan Knoble ordered to pay Benjamin Nicholas Houghton $52,500 in compensation for attack triggered by accusations of rumours about Knoble’s sister

by:Tony Keim
From:The Courier-Mail
November 22, 2011 1:26PM

A 17-YEAR-OLD boy’s brutal attack on a childhood mate – triggered by accusations of rumours being spread about his sister almost a decade ago – has resulted in him receiving a compensation bill in excess of $50,000.

A Brisbane District Court criminal compensation hearing was this month told Sam Rowan Knoble, then aged 17, assaulted Benjamin Nicholas Houghton, then 16, and caused him grievous bodily harm in January 2002.

The court was told Knoble, now aged 25, attacked Mr Houghton after confronting him about “saying derogatory
things about his sister”.

Knoble, the court was told, said to Mr Houghton: “Are you still saying stuff about my sister?”

Judge Nick Samios was told Knoble then punched Mr Houghton in the eye while telling him “you deserve this” and then ran away.

Mr Houghton was eventually taken to the Royal Brisbane Hospital and treated for a fractured right cheekbone involving his right eye socket.

The court was told on June 19, 2003, Knoble was sentenced to an intensive correction order – a prison sentence served within the community – after pleading guilty to one count of assault causing grievous bodily harm.

Judge Samios, in an 11-page just published judgment,  said Mr Houghton had since lodged a claim for criminal compensation for “four discrete injuries”, including bruising, fractures to his right cheekbone involving the eye socket, nerve damage and mental or nervous shock.

The court was told prior to the attack Knoble and Mr Houghton had been friends, but then had a falling out in the wake of rumours being spread about Knoble’s sister.

“On the date the offence was committed Mr Knoble approached Mr Houghton and said: ‘Are you still saying stuff about my sister?” Judge Samios said.

“Mr Houghton told him that he had not been saying anything about his sister and asked Mr Knoble to hear him out.”

It was then that Knoble grabbed Mr Houghton by the “collar”, pushed him “back against a wall” and then punched him twice in the eye.

Judge Samios was told Mr Hougton fell to the ground dizzy and in pain, but got up a few minutes later and caught a bus home.

“When he arrived (home) his father took him to the family doctor who advised him to take him to the Royal Brisbane Hospital (for surgery),” he said.

Knoble was ordered to pay Mr Houghton a total of $52,500 in compensation.

Any person ordered to pay compensation is expected to do so if they have the means. But the State Government has a taxpayer-funded account to make payment.

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