COURT: Jeremy Zerk pleaded guilty to two charges in the Roma Magistrates Court today.
COURT: Jeremy Zerk pleaded guilty to two charges in the Roma Magistrates Court today.

‘I punched a few black fellas:’ Brawler banned from bars

A BRAWL between a group of youths on Boxing Day has landed one Roma man a six month ban from all licensed venues within Roma.

Jeremy Alex Zerk, 25 faced Roma Magistrates Court today, charged with committing public nuisance within a licensed premises or in the vicinity of licensed premises and one charge of breaching a bail condition.

Police prosecutor sergeant Heather Whiting told the court on December 26 at 9pm, police were called to the Royal in regards to a disturbance.

When police attended the scene, they found Zerk with a dislocated right shoulder and heavily intoxicated.

The court heard when questioned by police about how he got his dislocated shoulder, he told them "I punched a few black fellas, those black c---s shouldn't have been cheeky".

Zerk was then transported to Roma Hospital to be treated for his injuries.

In the interview with police the next day, he told them he couldn't recall the events, but witnesses had said they observed an altercation between Zerk and a group of youths outside the Royal.

The defendant's lawyer, Laurie Parker told the court that on the night of the incident, Zerk was at the Royal drinking with friends when he went outside for a smoke.

Mr Parker said a group of youths then walked past and instigated an argument with him, which turned physical.

The court heard police attended his residence the next day and arrested him, issuing him with a banning notice from all licensed venues in Roma.

On January 31 at 7.40pm, police were doing patrols of the township when they spotted Zerk inside the Royal. When they went inside to locate him, he had gone to the toilets in an attempt to avoid them.

"He was having dinner with friends visiting Roma, but he knows that's no excuse to disobey the banning order," Mr Parker said.

"He plays rugby league so being banned is quite disappointing for him as he knows he now won't be able to attend some functions."

Zerk pleaded guilty to both charges.

Magistrate Saggers fined Zerk $750 for both offences, with no convictions recorded.

"This is an incident that should never have happened in the first place," he said.

"It shouldn't matter that there are kids outside saying something to you, just let it go."

He also re-issued the banning order for another six months, due to expire on September 3.

"If your team makes the finals, the order should be expired by then," Magistrate Saggers said.



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