Man involved in Biloela pub brawl gets suspended sentence

MICHAEL Te Urimingi Ratana is free to see his baby daughter grow up after his 15-month prison sentence was wholly suspended for an operational period of four years.

An emotional Ratana sat in the docks of Rockhampton District Court yesterday praying for a good outcome after he pleaded guilty to one count each of common assault (first charge) and assault occasioning bodily harm while armed in company (second charge).

The now 30-year-old has spent the past two years going through the legal processes after he was involved in a pub brawl in Biloela on May 9, 2013.

Rockhampton District Court heard Ratana had no criminal record up until the incident in which he and his co-accused Daniel Wilkins assaulted Jarred Martin and Luke Kensley.

In a summary of events, the court heard Wilkins was involved in an altercation with Mr Kensley. Mr Martin was trying to defuse the situation when Ratana punched him in the back of the head.

He fell to the ground and Ratana continued to kick and punch him.

Ratana then picked up a bar stool and paced around the bar with it held above his head.

The situation escalated further when Wilkins shoved Mr Kensley to the ground before stomping and kicking him.

Ratana joined Wilkins in his assault on Mr Kensley and then hit Mr Kensley with a pool cue with such force it broke in half. Ratana landed at least eight punches on Mr Kensley.

Ratana was later identified by police and he told police he didn't remember much of the incident because he was quite drunk.

For the first charge Ratana received a three-month wholly suspended sentence with a 12-month operational period; for the second charge a 12-month suspended sentence with a three-year operational period.

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