Pool cue for a brawl that led to court
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.”