A WA man has been jailed for a single punch that caused the death of another man, as the debate on violence involving alcohol continues to broil around the country.

At the ripe age of just 24, Matthew Edward Norman Windlass already boasted a criminal record of convictions for assault, possessing a weapon, unlawful wounding, robbery, obstructing police and disorderly behaviour when he faced sentencing on Wednesday for punching another man on Australia Day last year.

Whilst at the Dampier Mermaid Hotel, a group including Windlass got into an argument with a group including David Pavlic and his son.

When Pavlic spat in their direction, Windlass lost control, jumping a balustrade and punching Pavlic in the jaw. The older man fell backwards, hitting his head on the floor. He died 10 days later in hospital of “catastrophic brain injuries” having never regained consciousness.

Windlass was subsequently charged with manslaughter, but pleaded guilty to assault occasioning death. Supreme Court Justice Lindy Jenkins echoed stakeholder interests around the country as she applied punishment.

“Your violent action killed a man … you have to learn that losing your temper and resorting to violence is not an appropriate response to insults.”

Windlass was sentenced to five years, and will be eligible for parole after three.


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