Delivery driver ‘coward punched’ by shirtless Dalby man

WHILE sitting in his car preparing for his next appointment, an unsuspecting delivery driver was knocked unconscious by a raging, shirtless man, Justin Andrew Peter Hoefler, who believed he had attacked his mother's dog.

Police prosecutor senior constable Jodie Tahana told Dalby Magistrates Court the victim, a HelloFresh delivery driver was travelling down Irvingdale road at 10.50am on March 23.

He arrived at the defendant's address at 11am and when he left his car, a dog approached him.

The driver "shooed" the dog away with his hand before returning to the drivers seat.

The victim was then knocked unconscious temporarily as the defendant delivered two punches to the side of his head.

When the victim woke up he saw the defendant shirtless and with his fist raised, yelling "you threatened my dog".

The victim repeatedly told the defendant "I'm only delivering food" and said he was only pretending to throw rocks to shoo the dog away.

The victim told the police he tried to drive away but Hoefler took hold of the steering wheel and during the scuffle some damage was caused to the side of a building within the property.

Hoefler removed the keys from the vehicle, took photos of the damage to the building, and returned the keys.

The victim drove straight to Dalby police station to report the incident.

On March 24, the defendant, 46, told police he saw the victim enter his property and heard his dog barking.

He said he saw the victim "throw rocks" at his dog and take photos of the animal.

Hoefler said walked up to the van and saw the drivers side window was open, and hit the victim on the side of the head.

Australian and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service lawyer Michael McElhinney told the court his client thought he saw the victim throw rocks at his dog, which had previously belonged to his parents, and described the outburst as "out of character" for Hoefler.

Magistrate Roger Stark described the incident as "basically a coward punch" and said Hoefler committed a "coward act".

Hoefler pleaded guilty to common assault.

He was fined $600 and a conviction was recorded.

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