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Man denies he was instigator of bloody fight

A LATE night attack on the main street of Booval left a man with fractured skull, bleeding in the gutter.

But the man accused of starting the fight has claimed he was punched first.

Tristan Leo Robert Atkinson, 22, has pleaded not guilty at the Ipswich District Court to assault occasioning bodily harm while in company.

The court heard on December 16, 2012 Clinton Joseph James Scott, had left his brother's 21st birthday party with his girlfriend and his younger brother.

The three stopped at McDonald's Booval where they saw a fight break out. Crown prosecutor Matthew Le Grand said they weren't involved in the fight and left the store.

The court heard Mr Scott and his girlfriend, Melissa Mann, were walking along Brisbane St when they came across a group of four men. They asked Scott if he'd been involved in the fight, which he denied.

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The two walked on, but the group yelled out to them, approached them and surrounded them.

Mr Le Grand said in an "unprovoked attack" Mr Atkinson then punched Scott in the head, knocking him to the ground.

Mr Scott hit his head against the gutter, before the group began kicking and stomping on him.

Mr Le Grand said in a police interview Mr Atkinson admitted to punching Scott "as hard as he could" but said he was hit first, and denied ever stomping or kicking. He was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a fractured skull and internal bleeding inside his head.

Mr Le Grand said while Mr Scott had limited memories of the attack, Ms Mann's memory was clear. She identified Mr Atkinson as the man who threw the first punch and was the instigator.

He said the group later walked passed Mr Scott's brother, who had left McDonald's separately from Mr Scott and Ms Mann, where it is alleged Mr Atkinson told him he had "just put your brother in hospital."

The trial continues today.

Topics:  assault occasioning bodily harm, ipswich district court



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