Man jailed after bashing his father, leaving him fighting for life

A FORMER Ballarat man, who left his father fighting for his life after bashing him during an unprovoked attack, was jailed for more than four years on Tuesday.



Michael Ascenzio left his 68-year-old father, Antonino Ascenzio, with 13 broken ribs, two collapsed lungs, bleeding and swelling on the brain, fractures to his eyes and skull, a cigarette burn to the back of his hand, a torn right ear and bruising all over. 

Ascenzio, 35, now of South Australia where he lived with his parents, could be free within two years having already served 242 days in custody and with a non-parole period of two years set on Tuesday.

Pleading guilty to recklessly causing serious injury in the County Court at Ballarat, Ascenzio wept as crown prosecutor Patrick Bourke detailed the attack which took place in a room at The Ambassador Motor Inn, Alfredton, early last September 19. 

Mr Bourke said a heavily intoxicated Ascenzio became angry at his father after an argument about his 12-year-old daughter, among “other various topics”. 

The court heard Ascenzio repeatedly punched his father in the face before kneeing and kicking him. 

“The victim remembers saying to his son ‘Michael, are you going to kill me’,” Mr Bourke told the court. 

“The victim stated ‘he stopped but I don’t remember anything after that ... I can’t explain how I got the rest of my injuries ... I was knocked out’.”

Mr Bourke said Ascenzio fell asleep after the attack, later fleeing back to Adelaide and leaving his father in a “critical condition” on the motel room floor. 

The victim was taken to Ballarat’s Base Hospital where he was placed in an induced coma and flown to Melbourne. 

He remained in intensive care for 28 days. 

The court heard Ascenzio had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse and at the time of the attack had been drinking heavily and taking prescription medication including oxycontin.

Zoe Broughton, for Ascenzio, said her client was deeply remorseful for the “dreadful tragedy”.

Ms Broughton said Ascenzio had been raised in a loving and close family, but said things went downhill after his brother tried to take his life at the age of 23. 

Judge Gerard Mullaly said he accepted Ascenzio’s remorse and indicated a discount was warranted due to Ascenzio’s early plea.