Diners scatter, flee in food court brawl
PANICKED children, parents and diners scattered in fear when a brawl erupted at the Redbank Plaza food hall.
Nathan Iosefa was charged after being identified throwing a chair during the incident.
Police said Iosefa wasn't to blame for starting the fight.
Appearing before Ipswich Magistrates Court, Nathan Akeripa Iosefa, 22, from Goodna, pleaded guilty to causing public nuisance at Redbank Plaza on Monday, November 26.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Matt Donnelly showed the court CCTV footage stills of the brawl.
Sgt Donnelly said police officers were called to the level two food court at 11.25am after people began fighting and throwing chairs.
He said CCTV showed the co-offenders ordering at McDonald's.
There was a verbal exchange and another man threw a punch.
The two men began to fight and Iosefa ran through the food court and knocked over an elderly lady.
He was then seen to throw a chair.
Sgt Donnelly said some people tripped over while fleeing to safety with their children.
Iosefa did not want to talk to police about the fight.
Sgt Donnelly said four people had been involved and all were issued with notices but had not yet appeared before court.
He said Iosefa has a criminal history for violence and had taken part in violence in a public forum, although he was not responsible for starting the violence.
He said the public in the food hall were subjected to the overflow of the violence.
Do you wish to say anything about the circumstances?" Magistrate David Shepherd asked.
"No," Iosefa said.
Scaffolder Iosefa does not have children.
Mr Shepherd said he accepted he had not instigated the fight and the reason for his involvement was unknown.
He said Iosefa's history in the past 2 ½ years showed significant convictions for offences of violence.
Mr Shepherd said such incidents in a public area were serious because of the potential harm and injury to innocent people and children.
Iosefa was fined $750. Asked if he needed time to pay, Iosefa said: "Whatever."
He was given three months to pay.
A second man who was involved in the food court brawl, Mark Apelu, was also sentenced for his role in the fracas.
Apelu, 63, from Goodna, pleaded guilty to causing public nuisance at Redbank Plaza on November 26.
He was fined $750.