Dancefloor assault over alleged years of bullying
A man with a history of losing his temper has been jailed for a dance floor assault of a man accused of being a bully.
Nicholas Leigh Denton, 34, pleaded guilty on March 22 in Rockhampton District Court to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm (AOBH).
Denton had a two-page criminal record consisting of two AOBH convictions, two common assaults and one grievous bodily harm.
The court heard Denton was at the Giddy Goat nightclub on December 16, 2018, with a friend who had a history with the assault victim.
While the victim was on the dancefloor, the friend pointed the victim out to Denton, saying the victim had been bullying him for years.
Denton grabbed the victim by the arm and asked if he knew Denton’s friend.
The victim said he did.
Denton then punched the victim in the face and the victim fell to the floor, bleeding profusely.
A staff member helped the victim.
After the assault, Denton approached the victim again with staff intervening and all falling down the stairs.
The victim ended up with two black eyes and nine stitches under his eye.
When interviewed six weeks later, Denton told police he punched the victim as the victim was being aggressive, had been bullying someone for years, he “got what he deserved” and “as soon as he got his own actions back, he went crying to the cops”.
Denton’s criminal record showed there had been a 10-year break in offending, however, the 2018 incident was similar to one from his past.
In July 2007, Denton was at a nightclub when he ran into someone he claimed had bullied him in the past, so he confronted them and headbutted them, causing the victim to lose two teeth and impact his gums.
Denton headbutted another person, and punched them, at Stockland Rockhampton after getting into a verbal argument with them.
Judge Jeff Clarke said the Giddy Goat victim had a daily reminder of Denton’s assault on his face.
“As a young man, you were prone to violence,” he said.
Judge Clarke said the victim now suffered hypervigilance.
Defence barrister Nathan Boyd said his client offered $2500 compensation to the victim.
“What occurred happened very quickly,” he said.
Mr Boyd said it wasn’t Denton intention, when he approached the victim, to engage in a fight.
He said if Denton spent time in jail, it would impact his employment.
Judge Clarke sentence Denton to 15 months prison, wholly suspended and operational for three years.
“You may wish to reconsider your relationship with alcohol,” he said.
Judge Clarke also ordered the $2500 compensation to the victim.