Trial results of very similar cases of antisocial behaviour in pubs in NSW and Queensland show very different outcomes for perpetrators.
A man (who cannot be named for legal reasons) was at a Laidley pub with his wife and children in February last year.
When he was overcharged for a beer, he raised a glass and threatened to bash a staff member’s skull. The police were called and the man was taken home and told to not return to the pub.
He returned almost immediately and created a disturbance. He reportedly grabbed his son and walked into traffic, yelling at cars, returning home where he later physically and verbally assaulted his wife.
During his trial at Ipswich District Court earlier this month, his defence lawyer cited the man’s use of methamphetamines, and suggested he was “clearly in the grip of drugs”.
A plea of guilty was entered for assault occasioning bodily harm, public nuisance within the vicinity of a licensed premises, creating a disturbance within the vicinity of a licensed premises, and two counts of common assault.
Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren questioned if the man’s assault on his wife related to thoughts she should have intervened somehow, although he did not heed officers.
“The police attended, removed you from the premises and told you to stay home – which was pretty sound advice you chose not to take,” said Horneman-Wren.
The defendant was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment, but with immediate parole given time served.
On 29 October, 24-year-old Bradley Blanch was with a group of friends on a pub crawl. They arrived by bus at a Merewether pub around 5:30pm. Blanch was wearing a red dress and blonde wig.
About three minutes after arriving, Blanch punched 24-year-old Ty Hopley – who was with a different group of men – in the nose, causing it to bleed.
Blanch was restrained by his friends and led away, but returned only minutes later and began yelling and threatening members of the other group, “trying to instigate a fight” it was reported.
His actions triggered a brawl involving up to 40 people that went for some time, spilling onto the road and into traffic. Several people called 000. Police arrived to find the fight still in progress, but Blanch slipped away.
He was seen fighting with a number of other people, and police determined from CCTV footage he was the main aggressor.
He was spotted later that night in line at a Newcastle pub. Police moved to arrest him, but he fled and was apprehended. At the police station officers found a resealable bag in his shoe containing half a gram of MDMA (Ecstasy).
Both Blanch and Hopley appeared in Newcastle Local Court last Thursday (10 November).
Hopley did not enter a plea to his charge of affray, and his case has been adjourned until 24 November.
Blanch pled guilty to affray and possession of a prohibited substance. He was sentenced by Magistrate Andrew Eckhold to an 18-month good behaviour bond.