COWARDS CONTINUE TO KING-HIT IN PUBS

In Alcohol-related violence by Clyde Mooney

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The gutless so-called ‘coward’s punch’ continues to be the weapon of choice for too many drunken men, as Australian pubs continue to bear the brunt of the ugliness.

This week has seen news on two more testosterone-charged assaults involving cowards striking unsuspecting security guards at licensed venues.

Garth Bradley Clayton was reportedly evicted for “shoulder-barging” a patron inside the Tannum Sands Hotel, late in the evening of 12 December last year. He was removed by security guards, and argued this fact outside.

When a guard turned, Clayton ran up and hit him from behind, before running away.

Police received a call in regards to the king-hit, and another reporting the man was engaged in another fight – outside the police station.

Clayton’s mother was present, but failed in her attempt to quell his anger. He was apparently bleeding significantly from the head, after colliding with the door of the Hotel.

It took four police officers to subdue him and load him into a security pod outside the station.

In the wake of public outcry over a series of such assaults, and the Queensland Government’s plans to push through lockout and trade restriction legislation, Gladstone magistrate Penelope Hay ordered Clayton to do 200 hours of community service, and banned him from a dozen local venues for a year.

Meanwhile, in NSW, Port Kembla Court heard the case against Jorey Scott Wilson, on charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and failing to leave licensed premises.

On 29 August last year, Wilson was with mates at the Illawarra Hotel. The group was evicted for starting an altercation with another group of men around 1:45 am.

Arguing their eviction outside, a guard told them “you won’t be coming back inside, go home”.

The guard later reported to police the group appeared to be leaving, and he turned to address another patron – at which point Wilson came up behind him and struck him in the side of the face.

Despite the hit causing a deep cut that began to bleed profusely, Wilson continued to punch the guard until other security pulled him off. Police arrived shortly thereafter and arrested the heavily intoxicated man.

His Court appearance this week saw the 20-year-old plead guilty to charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and failing to leave licensed premises, and be released on bail, pending sentencing next week.

While thankfully both incidents did not cause critical injuries, they represent the continued prevalence of the ‘cowardly’ and often unprovoked attacks that provoked the NSW Government’s knee-jerk late-night trading restrictions.

The restrictions have decimated the hospitality industry in the late-night precinct of Kings Cross, where two high-profile king-hits on the streets saw a tight net thrown over the purpose-built 24-hour district.

The massive negative effects the ‘lockout’ laws have had on the Sydney late-night hospitality and tourism markets had led to increased cries by industry to direct greater blame and punishment on the perpetrators.