Andrew May leaves court after admitting to an assault on a pub patron.
Andrew May leaves court after admitting to an assault on a pub patron.

Punch and go: Texts prompt pub bashing

TEXT messages exchanged between two women were the apparent trigger for an assault on a man drinking at the bar of a Laidley hotel.

Andrew May kept his silence on the reason why he had simply walked into the bar on a Saturday night and punched the victim in the face.

Appearing before Ipswich Magistrates Court, Andrew Michael May, 33, from Laidley, pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm on Saturday, August 24 last year.

Prosecutor Senior Sergeant Trent Voigt said May walked in through the rear door of the Exchange Hotel in Laidley about 6.40pm and saw the complainant at the front bar.

Sgt Voight said May walked up to the man and punched him in the face, knocking him to the floor.

May left the hotel and an ambulance was called for the injured man, who suffered a cut to his mouth.

He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Sgt Voigt said hotel CCTV recorded the incident.

"He says there were texts from the victim's partner. He located him, punched him in the face and left," Sgt Voigt said.

Defence barrister Scott Neaves said the texts were no excuse for what May did and as a mature-aged man "he ought to have known better".

He said May, a father of four, was a former amphetamine addict who successfully got off the drug and had gotten his life together.

Mr Neaves sought a jail term of 12 months with no actual time behind bars.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said May was very lucky not to have caused more serious injury, and reminded him of the potential deadly consequences.

"There was no good reason to do what you did," she said.

"It is simply unacceptable to just go up and punch someone in the face when he is seated in a public bar.

"The only explanation you gave involved a text exchange between your partner sand his partner.

"It is completely irrelevant. You don't involve yourself in someone's else's disputes.

"It is not a reason to justify your behaviour."

She noted that he had a previous assault causing bodily harm charge in 2015 and received a jail term with immediate parole. Ms Sturgess also said there had been two previous assault/obstruct police charges in 2016.

She said he had very positive references before the court but his conduct that day was concerning.

Ms Sturgess said the penalty must deter others from thinking it was acceptable to act in such a way in a hotel.

May was convicted and sentenced to a 12-month jail term, immediately suspended for two years.