Pool cue for a brawl that led to court

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

MOSS­MAN lo­cals Dale Ross 21, and De­mer­russ Hart 18, both faced the Moss­man Mag­is­trates Court last month in re­la­tion to a brawl at the Ex­change Ho­tel dur­ing the pop­u­lar pool com­pe­ti­tion in Novem­ber, which saw both men charged with caus­ing a pub­lic nui­sance for fight­ing.

Both pleaded guilty to all charges.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tors told the court that at about 7:15pm on Novem­ber 10 while play­ing in the pool com­pe­ti­tion Ross and Hart bumped into each other in an in­ci­dent that es­ca­lated into a fight with punches thrown.

Both men were re­ported to have been in­tox­i­cated at the time.

By­standers stepped in to pull the two men apart, but when the man­ager of the ho­tel ap­proached Hart to eject him from the ho­tel, Hart re­fused be­cause he be­lieved Ross started the fight. He then at­tempted to head­butt the man­ager.

For that, Hart was also charged with com­mon as­sault.

Mag­is­trate Tom Braes noted Ross’s age and lack of crim­i­nal record, and sen­tenced him to 50 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice.

Hart was noted to have a che­quered re­cent his­tory, with breaches of com­mu­nity ser­vice or­ders.

His de­fence coun­sel, An­drew Deni­son of Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­land Le­gal Ser­vice (ATSILS), ex­plained to the court that Hart “re­alises he does have a prob­lem with al­co­hol and anger man­age­ment,” and said he had work op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able to him that he hoped wouldn’t dis­ap­pear due to sen­tenc­ing.

Mr Braes took all of that on board, not­ing that Hart had achieved a high level of school­ing and earned a driver’s li­cence, and had the po­ten­tial to have a bright fu­ture, but he added that “it cer­tainly seems the Queens­land com­mu­nity needs pro­tect­ing from you.”

Mr Braes said that Hart had been given many op­por­tu­ni­ties to clean up his act, but his most re­cent run-in with the law was proof that “as a young man you haven’t been lis­ten­ing.

Hart was sen­tenced to nine months im­pris­on­ment, and im­me­di­ately re­leased on pa­role. Any fur­ther breaches would see Hart placed in jail, a point that Mag­is­trate Braes stressed.

“If you step out of line you don’t get an­other chance.”

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