I could have hit harder: Johnson denies assault
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.
Docker Michael Johnson arrives at court yesterday.