Adelaide man guilty of attempted murder for shoelace attack
An Adelaide man has been found guilty of attempting to murder a stranger by choking him with a shoelace, in an attack he denied was racially motivated.
David John Pearce, 37, appeared in the Supreme Court on Tuesday as Justice Sam Doyle delivered his verdict.
During the trial, the court heard Pearce approached Abdolhadi Moradi, 28, from behind as the Afghan national walked down a footpath north of Adelaide in January, 2018.
He wrapped a shoelace around Mr Moradi's neck and dragged him to the pavement, as his surprised victim struggled to free himself.
Prosecutor Mark Norman SC said Mr Moradi believed he briefly lost consciousness during the attack, which lasted for up to two minutes.
Pearce was arrested by police nearby a few minutes later, while Mr Moradi was left "relatively unscathed" with minor neck injuries.
Mr Norman said Pearce was taken to hospital after his arrest and blood and urine samples revealed he had likely consumed small amounts of methamphetamine as well as some cannabis.
He said the pair were not known to each other, and that Pearce knew the attack would be witnessed by members of the public.
"It seems very difficult to avoid the inference that Mr Moradi was deliberately chosen by the accused to be attacked," he said.
But Phil Crowe, for Pearce, denied the attack was racially motivated and said there was no evidence Pearce saw Mr Moradi from the front before he approached.
"There is pure speculation by the prosecution that Mr Pearce must have been aware of the victim's nationality or racial appearance," he said.
"There is no evidence to support, or even a suggestion, that the incident was motivated by racism."
Mr Crowe said the only evidence that Mr Moradi lost consciousness came from Mr Moradi himself, and was not supported by any medical witness.
Justice Doyle remanded Pearce in custody to reappear before the court for sentencing submissions later this month.