Thug gets off as a 'nuisance'

A PACK of men bashed another group of males, but were only charged with public nuisance because the victims wouldn't press charges.

In a not-uncommon case before the courts, James Paul Everson, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of public nuisance for his role in a vicious attack on a group of men in the Ipswich CBD.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Everson was in company with three other men and followed the group from Cocktails Nightclub at 4am on May 20.

Everson's gang had trailed their victims for about three blocks until they spread out and surrounded the terrified group.

One of the attackers threw the first punch and the gang set upon the men, knocking one to the ground.

Everson darted from the back of the pack and punched a man in the head, before seeing police lights approaching.

He fled into an alleyway and his three co-accused were arrested.

When police took the men back to the Ipswich watchhouse, Everson was waiting there for his "friends to be released" on bail. He told police he had punched the victim "because he smiled at me" and "you don't understand - we hate those Maori c****".

CCTV footage captured the entire attack, in what the police prosecutor said was nothing but "cowardly".

Everson represented himself in court and claimed he didn't know the men he was with, but was just walking home.

Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist said it was "lucky you don't have a (criminal) history" or he would have sent Everson to jail.

"People are entitled to walk around the streets without getting thumped - this is straight-out gratuitous violence," he said.

"There was no need, no provocation - they were just targeted." Everson was fined $800.



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