From hugs to punch­ing se­cu­rity

Whitsunday Times - - COURT & LAW -

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.

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