From hugs to punching security
A MAN who was giving ‘free hugs’ at an Airlie Beach nightclub will have to do 60 hours of community service after punching a security guard in the face after he was asked to leave.
Kenneth John Sanderson, 31, of Mandalay, pleaded guilty in Proserpine Magistrates Court on Monday to committing a public nuisance offence in the vicinity of licensed premises.
Prosecutor Robert Beamish said Sanderson was asked to leave Mama Africa Nightclub around 2am on October 1.
He went downstairs to leave, but punched a security guard in the face before being restrained on the ground by two security guards, Mr Beamish said.
Sanderson’s solicitor Danny Yarrow said his client was “giving out free hugs” inside the nightclub.
“He offered a security guard a hug and was told to leave,” Mr Yarrow said.
He said Sanderson asked the security guards why he had to leave when he was out the front of the nightclub.
Mr Yarrow said while his client had had a few drinks, he was not intoxicated at the time.
He did, however, admit his client had a “somewhat lengthy” history of street offences.
Magistrate Simon Young said Sanderson’s criminal history was relevant.
“This is a fairly bizarre set of circumstances in the lead-up,” Mr Young said.
“This offence is tending towards the more serious end of public nuisance because it involves public nuisance.”
As well as the community service, Sanderson was also banned from the Airlie Beach Safe Night Precinct between 7pm and 6am for six months.