Barred thug Edward Blackwell pleads guilty to savagery

A violent thug responsible for attacking a man in a northern Illawarra pub last month had previously been banned from entering the same premises.

Edward Blackwell repeatedly punched his 49-year-old victim in a seemingly unprovoked attack at Helensburgh's Centennial Hotel on June 7, leaving the man with fractures to his jaw that required surgery.

Blackwell, 39, pleaded guilty in Port Kembla Local Court on Tuesday to a charge of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm.

Police facts tendered to the court revealed Blackwell, who police said was well known for his violent behaviour, particularly when intoxicated, had a life ban from the hotel five years earlier for assaulting the co-owner.

He had also been banned for life from the Helensburgh Workers Club as a result of previous acts of violence, police said.

On the night of the assault, Blackwell entered the pub about 7pm - half an hour after the victim.

The facts did not reveal whether Blackwell consumed any alcohol between when he arrived and when the assault occurred, around 10pm.

However, witnesses told investigating officers that both men were in a group near the bar when Blackwell lashed out at the victim in a seemingly unprovoked attack, repeatedly punching him in the face.

One witness who believed Blackwell was not going to stop hitting the man even as he lay on the ground, jumped on Blackwell's back and dragged him off the victim, who was then taken to another part of the pub.

Bleeding from the mouth, the disoriented man asked his mates what had happened.

"Eddie got you," they said.

He was taken home, however his concerned wife immediately drove him to Sutherland Hospital when he started to cough up blood.

X-rays revealed he had multiple fractures to his lower jaw, requiring surgery.

Blackwell was arrested two weeks later.

Magistrate Michael Stoddart ordered a sentencing options report and put the matter over for a decision on August 29.

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