Civilians brawled with off-duty army officers
ALMOST a year after sparking a violent Yeppoon street brawl with a group of off-duty army officers, the instigator has been dealt with in court.
Jamaine Trenton Leye Reid pleaded guilty in Yeppoon Magistrates Court last Thursday to assault causing bodily harm.
The charge stemmed from an incident in July last year in which Reid, 24, punched a 38-year-old off-duty Australian Army Private in the jaw.
Police Prosecutor Julie Marsden said the victim and a number of Army personnel were on a rest day when they attended several licensed premises in Yeppoon.
She said around midnight the victim and some of his friends left The Strand Hotel to walk back to where they were staying.
“The victim and a few of his friends walked next door and were admiring some of the artwork in the window at the art gallery, talking to a male person who lived in a unit above the gallery,” Ms Marsden said.
“The victim engaged in a playful wrestling match and at this time they were approached by two males.”
The court heard that words were exchanged and the victim then saw a third male, Reid, walking in his direction.
Ms Marsden said Reid walked straight towards the victim, and when close enough “out of nowhere” punched him with a closed, clenched fist to the jaw.
Ms Marsden said this caused the victim immediate pain, discomfort and swelling.
A brawl between the civilians and the group of army personnel followed before police arrived to break it up.
Before imposing penalty, Magistrate Jeff Clarke said the courts had long held the view that those responsible for drunken street violence should face imprisonment orders.
Reid’s solicitor Cam Schroder suggested a suspended sentence or jail sentence with immediate parole would hang over his client’s head “like a guillotine and be a very strong deterrent to not get into trouble again”.
Mr Clarke took into account Reid was remorseful for his actions before placing him on 18 months’ probation.
The court heard that a co-offender in this incident had received two years’ probation.