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Man narrowly avoids jail after violent attack in pub

WHEN Rory Barry Collett saw a bartender friend being sexually accosted by a drunken man in The Peak Pub, he snapped.

Collett punched the drunk man in the head, causing him to fall back and hit his head against the bar. He continued his attack, repeatedly punching the man, who fell to the ground and hit his head again, this time on the concrete.

Collett, 25, yesterday pleaded guilty at the Ipswich Magistrates Court to assault occasioning bodily harm. The court heard Collett was drinking at the Peak Crossing bar on April 4.

Defence lawyer Richard Zande said Collett saw the man begin making lewd, sexual comments to a female bartender, who Collett knew.

The court heard the man made sexual advances towards the bartender.

Mr Zande said the actions of the man, who he claimed had been kicked out of another pub that night for similar behaviour, enraged Collett.

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When police arrived Collett told them he "lost his shit" at the man.

Mr Zande described the attack as "disturbing" but said it was out of character for Collett who had no history for attacking people or committing violent offences.

"He's remorseful. He knows it wasn't just out of character, but very wrong," he said.

The man had x-rays, which the court heard showed no damage. He did not seek compensation.

Magistrate Aaron Simpson told Collett the community took a dim view of violence in hotels.

"He's exercised some rough justice on this fellow which is unacceptable," he said.

"The community expects there won't be violence in hotels."

Mr Simpson said while Collett's actions warranted a jail sentence, his lack of a violent history kept him out of jail.

Collett was sentenced to six months prison, wholly suspended for 18 months.

Topics:  assault occasioning bodily harm, ipswich magistrates court



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