Men in Victoria and Queensland have been hit with tough penalties for their roles in two incidents of antisocial behaviour in pubs.
On 6 May at the Railway Hotel in Bannockburn, two men not known to each other got into a verbal altercation, and 33-year-old Lee Wilkinson was pushed to the ground.
At some stage later, Wilkinson, police say, “didn’t like the way” the other man was looking at him.
“About 10.30pm the victim was sitting at a bar table when Wilkinson leant across and punched him to the face, knocking him backwards off his chair,” said Senior Constable Alana Groves.
This resulted in the man sustaining a fractured nose and eye socket, and some muscle damage.
On Wednesday Wilkinson pleaded guilty to a charge of recklessly causing serious injury in Geelong Magistrate’s Court. Despite claiming no prior convictions, enquiries by the prosecution found priors in his home state of WA for reckless driving, burglary and common assault.
Magistrate Ron Saines told Wilkinson he is “that far away from a six-month jail sentence” and entered a conviction, fining him $4000 and placing him on a 15-month Community Corrections Order to undergo assessment and treatment for alcohol abuse.
Wilkinson is also barred from entering any licensed premise in Victoria for two years.
Then Thursday afternoon, a scuffle in a beer garden in a pub on Bowen St, Roma, about 500 kilometres west of Brisbane, saw police called to disarm a man that had brought along and pulled out a big knife.
“Police have attended and taken two males into custody and seized a large carving knife,” said Police Sergeant Troy Newman.
One of the men was fined $731 for public nuisance in a licenced venue.
The armed man was subsequently charged with possessing a knife in a public place, public nuisance in a licenced venue, and going armed so as to cause fear.
He will appear before Roma Magistrates Court next week.
No venues were hurt in either incident.