Former NightQuarter beverage manager’s chilling threat

THE former beverage manager of NightQuarter beat his partner, abducted her and drove south, telling her Byron Bay "would be a good place for her to die".

Liam McGurk "waged a reign of terror" over "a couple of days", Judge David Kent said in Southport District Court yesterday.

McGurk's "disturbing" attacks on the woman on July 10 last year began when he hit her "around the head" while she "cried and she begged him to stop", the court heard.

McGurk used to work at NightQuarter.
McGurk used to work at NightQuarter.

Crown prosecutor Amalia Baker-Smith told the court the 34-year-old man hurled a dining room chair through a glass door and crockery through a wall before he manhandled the woman's dog,


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McGurk picked up the pet by the scruff of the neck and threw it onto a couch, causing the animal to yelp in pain.

The next day, the woman locked herself in an ensuite and dialed triple 0 for help after another argument broke out.

McGurk punched through the door and took the woman's phone.

He grabbed his partner by the hair and shirt, shoving her around the home and into a car owned by her employer.

McGurk hit his partner in the jaw and threatened he would kill her.


He told the woman "they were going to go to Byron Bay because it would be a good place for her to die", Ms Baker-Smith told the court.

McGurk drove the woman past Byron before finally returning to Helensvale.

He did let his partner use the bathroom during the journey, the court was told.

The woman reported McGurk's behaviour the next day and he was arrested.

Ms Baker-Smith said McGurk's criminal history involved drugs but no entries of violence.

Defence lawyer Bernard Reilly said McGurk worked hard in jail and was a model prisoner.

He said McGurk's "prior life" had been "one of constant employment".

"At the time of this offending he was the beverage manager at NightQuarter," he said.

"He was responsible for overseeing about 100 staff."

Mr Reilly said the well-paying "position of some responsibility" was "perhaps at odds with how he conducted himself" in July last year.

McGurk was remorseful and committed to improving himself, Mr Reilly said.

In total, McGurk was sentenced for 13 offences including deprivation of liberty and two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm.

But Judge Kent said McGurk had "served enough time", considering 270 days already spent locked up.

McGurk was sentenced to a two year overarching jail term and released immediately on parole.

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