Young dad told ‘grow up’ after latest street fights

A YOUNG father has been told to grow up after facing court for two nasty violent incidents, including one where he tried to fight a youth in a McDonald's car park.

Hayden James Dwyer, 24, from South Gladstone, pleaded guilty to two separate charges of causing an affray at Ipswich Magistrates Court.

The first charge related to an incident on April 17 in the McDonald's Gladstone car park on Glenlyon Street.

The second charge related to an incident on June 16 in Toolooa Street at South Gladstone.

Police prosecutor Bronson Ballard said Dwyer had seven pages of criminal offending, which at the age of only 24 was substantial.

Some of prior offences included assaults.

Mr Ballard said both charges of affray had elements of violence, with Dwyer threatening a youth in the McDonalds carpark.

He used a broken bottle and a fence paling to threaten a male in the second charge.

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said Dwyer had three children, and lost a trade apprenticeship this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Fairclough said Dwyer had some mental health issues and accepted there were also anger issues at play.

He said Dwyer had at times lived in Ipswich, but still resides in Gladstone.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said the McDonald's affray occurred at 7.30pm when Dwyer was seated in his car and had a verbal exchange with a youth.

Dwyer got out and verbally threatened the young person to a fight.

When the youth tried to walk away Dwyer pursued him, attempting to fight him until other people intervened.

Ms Sturgess said Dwyer returned to his car but continued to make threats, causing alarm to McDonald's staff about their safety when he threatened to assault them.

Ms Sturgess said the other affray involved Dwyer walking on Toolooa Street with a friend who held an unopened bottle of Bundaberg Rum.

The pair argued and when the other male put the bottle down Dwyer grabbed it and smashed the bottle on the road.

He took a fence paling and struck the male in the face and head, then placed him a head lock.

"It is completely unacceptable behaviour. At the age of 24 you ought to know better," Ms Sturgess said.

"Clearly you have trouble with your temper.

"You have to start behaving like an adult. You are a father of three."

Dwyer was sentenced to a four-month jail term on both charges, immediately suspended for 12 months.


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