I could have hit harder: John­son de­nies as­sault

The West Australian - - NEWS - Tim Clarke

Fre­man­tle Dock­ers star Michael John­son sat in court yes­ter­day and watched CCTV vi­sion of him­self drop­ping his pants in a kebab shop be­fore punch­ing a man to the ground.

Mr John­son, 32, was in Perth Mag­is­trate’s Court charged with as­sault oc­ca­sion­ing bod­ily harm to teacher Tim Bowen dur­ing an early-morn­ing fra­cas at the fast­food out­let last Novem­ber.

He told Mag­is­trate Elaine Cam­pi­one he re­sorted to vi­o­lence to de­fend his wife, who he felt was be­ing “ha­rassed and as­saulted”.

The CCTV vi­sion of the 3.45am in­ci­dent showed the skilful de­fender let­ting his trousers fall to his an­kles in view of dozens of pa­trons — an ac­tion filmed by Mr Bowen on his phone.

The court was told the film­ing at­tracted the at­ten­tion of Mr John­son’s wife Dayna, who be­gan talk­ing to Mr Bowen and his two friends.

The CCTV vi­sion showed Mrs John­son snatch­ing the phone and scur­ry­ing out of the shop, fol­lowed by Mr Bowen and friends.

As one of the men put his hand on Mrs John­son’s shoul­der, an ac­tion pros­e­cu­tor Cil­lian Stock­dale said was a jus­ti­fi­able at­tempt to get her at­ten­tion to re­trieve the phone, Mr John­son stepped in, push­ing one of the men be­fore punch­ing Mr Bowen.

“My at­ten­tion was on her … and I was just knocked back onto the ground,” Mr Bowen said.

“I stayed down be­cause I was quite scared at what would hap­pen. He was over the top of me and was quite er­ratic.

“He was want­ing to keep on fight­ing while I was on the ground.”

Mr John­son de­nied the as­sault, telling the court he “re­acted to pro­tect my wife”.

He said he had dam­aged his trousers on the night when he jumped onto a bench. In the kebab shop, as he was at­tempt­ing to re­trieve his wife’s purse, he was “just be­ing silly” when he let his pants fall to the floor.

He saw his wife leav­ing the shop be­ing “has­sled and as­saulted” by two men, one of whom was Mr Bowen.

“I did punch him. It was just a jab to get him away from my wife … I reckon I could have punched him harder,” Mr John­son said.

The de­ci­sion was re­served.

Pic­ture: AAP

Docker Michael John­son ar­rives at court yes­ter­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.