Fight at tavern leads to parole
A MAN who assaulted another man at the Jubilee Tavern on September 6 was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and immediately paroled in the Proserpine Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Brenton John Loff initially came to the attention of the tavern’s manager by annoying a group of patrons at their table.
Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Matt Saunders said Loff became involved in an argument with one of the group and was asked to leave.
He said the manager then found Loff standing over his unconscious victim in the car park.
According to police, the victim had punched Loff, who reacted by knocking him to the ground and continuing to punch him in the face while he was down.
Defence solicitor Monique Sheppard said the 22-year-old labourer had over-reacted but hadn’t thrown the first punch.
“This isn’t a circumstance of gratuitous violence – there has been some provocation,” she said.
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist was not convinced, saying Loff was “obnoxious” on this night.
He also said Loff needed to consider what might have happened had his victim ended up on a life support machine or died.
He noted Loff’s actual charge was assault occasioning bodily harm.
“There’s a split hair between that charge and a charge of murder in these circumstances,” he said.
Mr Stjernqvist said offences involving alcohol-fuelled violence among young men should carry penalties that would act as deterrents both to the offenders and others in the community.
In addition to imposing the 12-month period of parole, he banned Loff from attending the Jubilee Tavern for 12 months.