Fights fuelled by alcohol often land the participants in court.
Fights fuelled by alcohol often land the participants in court. File

Drunken disgrace

A ROCKHAMPTON magistrate warned against the abuse of liquor as alcohol-fuelled violence poured off the CBD streets and into the Rockhampton Courthouse this week.

In one session on Monday morning, four different men appeared before Magistrate Barry Cosgrove, pleading guilty to charges of antisocial behaviour while drunk.

During sentencing Magistrate Cosgrove warned one defendant that "entry into a licensed premises is not a right, it is a privilege" and said "alcohol is the cause of the problems of many people who appear before the court".

This comes as Clubs Queensland rejects renewed claims for hotels and clubs to have earlier closing hours.

One man who appeared in court was Troy Andrew Moore, a 23-year-old man who admitted getting into a fight with another man outside Strutters Nightclub about 3.20am on September 3.

After security forced the two men apart and police also attempted to intervene, Moore became verbally abusive before attempting to continue the fight.

He was arrested and charged with public nuisance.

Defence solicitor Anthony DeFraine said the incident put Moore in breach of a suspended sentence he was given in 2010, but urged Magistrate Cosgrove not to imprison him.

Moore was fined $600 and the period for his suspended sentence was extended by 12 months.

Jeffrey John Bunt landed himself before the magistrate after punching a security guard who was ejecting him from the Zodiac Nightclub about 1.25am on September 3 for fighting on the dance floor.

Defence solicitor Danita Clarke said Bunt, 30, had thrown the punch as a reaction to being dragged out of the club in a headlock.

Police prosecutor Paige Barrow said Bunt then resisted arrest, continually struggling with police and refusing to follow directions.

Ms Clarke said Bunt was remorseful for his actions.

He pleaded guilty to charges of creating a disturbance in licensed premises, assaulting or obstructing a police officer and assault occasioning bodily harm.

Magistrate Cosgrove told Bunt he was "old enough to know better" and fined him $500, ordered he do 40 hours community service in the next 12 months and banned him from attending the Zodiac Nightclub, but no conviction was recorded.

Bunt said he had no intentions of ever returning to the club, regardless of the ban.

Aaron Wayne Hackney found himself before the court after getting into a fight with a stranger on the corner of William and Quay sts in the early hours of September 4.

The 22-year-old said the other man had been the instigator of the fight and that he had responded to being hit.

He was fined $200 but no conviction was recorded.

Cody Jarrod Van Der Mark earned his place in the courtroom by refusing to accept that he was too drunk to be allowed into the Heritage Hotel.

After arguing with bouncers about 12.30am on September 3, Van Der Mark took a run up and forced his way past bouncers, only to be dragged back outside and restrained on the ground.

He continued to struggle as he was arrested by police.

Though he did not remember the offence, he came home with a torn shirt and a swollen face and said he was very remorseful.

Magistrate Cosgrove fined Van Der Mark $100.



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