Fight at tav­ern leads to pa­role

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.

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