Justin Roth
Justin Roth Sharyn O'Neill

'I thought I'd bleed to death'

THE 10cm scar on Justin Roth's throat is a constant reminder of the night he almost died on the floor of a pub.

Whenever the Yeppoon plumber shaves, the scar sticks out and takes him back 10 years to the night he was glassed.

Justin, 34, finished watching a Rugby Union game in Sydney when he and a few mates decided to go for a drink at an inner-city pub.

He was on his way to the toilets when he bumped into a bloke coming out.

Justin apologised but the other man abused him.

Not thinking anything more of it, Justin finished at the toilet and went back to the bar for another drink.

The next thing he knew the other man was coming towards him and smashed a schooner glass into the side of Justin's throat.

“I didn't know that I'd even been cut. I thought he'd punched me,” Justin said.

The pair tussled before Justin noticed his hands and arms were drenched in blood.

The smashed glass had severed a 3.5cm piece of his jugular vain and Justin lost more than half of the blood in his body.

“I was lying on that pub floor, looking up thinking, 'I'm going to die on a pub floor',” Justin said.

“I remember thinking ... 'All the things that could happen to you, this is going to be my story'.”

Bouncers shut down the pub and rushed Justin to hospital where he spent 10 days in intensive care.

He had surgery to repair nerves, veins and muscles and was left with a deep scar.

Justin said the man who glassed his throat was eventually charged but walked away from court with a “lenient sentence”.

Justin has since moved back to Yeppoon where he's married and had children.

He spoke yesterday to The Morning Bulletin to raise awareness of glassing violence.

Last week Rockhampton Regional Council acting mayor Rose Swadling announced a push for tougher laws on alcohol-fuelled violence.

She said she wanted council to consider a stringent new liquor-licensing regime for the Rockhampton region.

Justin said the mental side effects of the attack still lived with him today.

He said he avoided dark places, pubs and clubs and was always worried about drunken violence.

Over the years Justin's flashbacks to the attack have lessened but he said at least once a day he would be reminded by his scar.

“I'm very self-conscious of it. When I go for any photos I always flick around to my good side,” he said.


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