Like a one-punch assault
A MAGISTRATE has likened an attack on two people at an Airlie Beach nightclub as being similar to a one-punch assault.
In sentencing Reagan Dwyane Broughton, 25, to a three-month suspended prison sentence, magistrate Simon Young told him he was lucky he had not faced more significant charges after he punched two men, dropping them to the ground.
Broughton, 25, of Cannonvale, pleaded guilty in Proserpine Magistrates Court on Monday to committing a public nuisance offence within a licensed premises.
Mr Young said Broughton was fortunate neither man brought assault charges against him for the punches which occurred inside Paddy Shenanigan's Irish Bar at 2.18am on September 29.
"There's no doubt in my mind this is in the nature of a one-punch assault, and on more than one occasion,” he said.
Prosecutor Robert Beamish told the court Broughton punched a man in the jaw, knocking him to the ground near the bar.
Broughton then punched a second man in the same group, also knocking him to the ground, Mr Beamish said.
The court hear another man then put Broughton in a bear hug and ushered him to the exit.
Police found Broughton near McDonald's just before 3am but he would not answer questions, Mr Beamish said.
Broughton's solicitor Danny Yarrow said his client had been sitting at two tables earlier in the night and had been approached by the group of men for one of the tables.
Later on, when he was on his own, Broughton said something was said to him by one of the men and he reacted, Mr Yarrow said.
He told the court, at the time Broughton was going through a period of personal upheaval.
"A personal relationship had ended and there was some uncertainty with his work,” he said.
The court was told Broughton sought anger management counselling after the incident.
Mr Yarrow handed up references for Broughton, who moved to Australia from New Zealand a year ago, and said the incident was out of character for him.
Mr Young sentenced Broughton to three months prison, suspended for 12 months. He also banned him from the Airlie Beach Safe Night Precinct for 12 months between 6pm and 6am, and from licensed premises in the area at any time.
"The nature of this offence is a particularly serious one,” Mr Young said.
"It represents the highest level of public nuisance possible. Usually a person would be charged with assault or assault occasioning bodily harm.
"It is entirely fortunate for you no complaints were made to the police.
"You reacted in an entirely unrealistic and inappropriate manner.”