News

Crowd controller quit job after assault by brawler

A CROWD controller was forced to quit his job after he copped a punch to the head from a drunken brawler outside an Ipswich hotel.

The man who threw the punch, Christopher Steven Manz, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm when he appeared in Ipswich District Court last Friday.

Crown prosecutor Matthew Le Grand said the incident took place in August last year at the Coronation Hotel about midnight.

Crowd controller Jamie Baker was struck as he tried to intercept a fight between Manz, 22, and another patron. Manz, 21 at the time, swung three punches at the crowd controller with one of them striking the left side of his face. Manz then left the venue, walked down the street and threw another punch into one of the hotel windows, causing damage costing $748.

In a Victim Impact Statement read in court, Mr Baker said he had endured numerous injuries as a result of the assault. He said he suffered on-going headaches and could not breathe from one side of his nose, which had been broken.

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"I've undergone surgery to fix my nose, which involved re-breaking it and caused me even more pain and bruising," he said in the statement. "I've worked as a crowd controller for a number of years ... but after the assault, I wasn't the same as before.

"I was very anxious and began worrying about who was going to hit me next."

Mr Baker said he began to hate the idea of going to work and decided to quit crowd control work.

Mr Le Grand said the incident highlighted the danger of punches and their potentially deadly effect.

"The public deserve protection from people who would lose their temper and self control," he said.

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said the incident was a result of Manz having anger issues and drinking too much alcohol.

Judge Greg Koppenol told Manz he had "acted like a pork chop".

"It was foolish behaviour … stupid behaviour … something that we see on a regular basis in the newspapers and on television," he said.

Manz pleaded guilty to the assault charge as well as wilful destruction of property and committing a public nuisance offence. With no prior offences, Manz was released on two years' probation.

No convictions were recorded.

Topics:  assault occasioning bodily harm ipswich magistrates court



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