In In the Courts by Clyde Mooney

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UPDATE: A Gold Coast hotel security guard has been found guilty of grievous bodily harm, for knocking out and breaking the jaw of a Sydney licensee in February, 2014.

Dennis Faulkner

Southport District Court last week heard the case of 42-year-old hotel security guard, New Zealand-born former soldier Dennis Hecta Tipene Faulkner.

In the early hours of 9 February (2014) Dominic Beinke and his brother Patrick returned to the Gold Coast hotel where they were staying with their other brother, in a room booked in his name.

Showing signs of intoxication and unable to produce documentation, security denied the brothers access up to the room and an argument ensued.

Faulkner and another guard then argued and wrestled with the two brothers, forcibly removing them from the foyer. The Court saw CCTV footage that showed Faulkner outside land a single blow to Dominic Beinke that fractured his jaw in two places and knocked him out for around 30 seconds. Patrick was also hit, by the other security guard.

Beinke, who testified he was not heavily intoxicated and knew what was going on, denied provoking the guards and recalled a punch straight to the mouth, with his arms by his side. Licensee for a Sydney venue, he said the injury had seriously affected his working life.

Dominic Beinke. Image: Instagram

“When I woke up I was in a puddle of blood. I thought I had lost all my teeth … then I realised my jaw was snapped in half.”

He had been initially charged with drunk and disorderly and failing to leave a licensed premise, but these charges were dropped in Southport Magistrate’s Court.

Faulkner was charged with grievous bodily harm, set down for a three-day trial. He pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defence.

Last week, after one day’s deliberation a jury found Faulkner guilty. On Friday Judge David Kent QC sentenced him, describing the entire incident as “unfortunate” and while conceding it can be difficult for hotel staff to manage intoxicated people, asking why it went further than the brothers’ removal.

“Once they were excluded from the premises … why not lock the doors and wait for the police to arrive?”

Faulkner was sentenced to two and a half year’s jail, serving just 12 months behind bars, with the rest suspended for three years.

He reportedly fainted in the dock when the sentence was handed down.