Four quick punches to man's head after assault

Nathan Wood leaves Gladstone Courthouse with his girlfriend. Photo Ross Irby / The Observer
Nathan Wood leaves Gladstone Courthouse with his girlfriend. Photo Ross Irby / The Observer Ross Irby

A PEEVED boyfriend threw four quick punches to another man's head in a street fight, after the man apparently assaulted his girlfriend at a Gladstone hotel.

Told to leave by Central Lane Hotel security, mayhem ensued down the street when the accused groper, described as "a big Maori guy" allegedly went after her boyfriend causing a street rumble.

However, in the dust-up the woman's boyfriend Nathan Wood was charged by police with causing public nuisance in the vicinity of licensed premises at 2am on June 20, and obstructing police in their duties.

Wood, 28, an electrician, pleaded not guilty to both charges in a defended hearing before Gladstone magistrate Jeffrey Clarke.

Prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens said Wood behaved in a violent way when arrested following a street fight and although the second man stopped, Wood let off four quick punches to the man's head.

Sgt Stevens said after being handcuffed and put into a police car Wood began kicking the glass window then a perspex panel divider between the front and rear seats.

>>READ OTHER: Man charged over Barney street brawl

Constable Kieran Roberts said he first saw two men on the footpath throwing punches at each other's heads surrounded by a crowd of 15-20 people. After telling them to stop fighting Const Roberts said Wood threw four punches in rapid succession that struck the other man who was shirtless.

The woman was sexually assaulted at the Central Lane Hotel. Source: Google Maps.
The woman was sexually assaulted at the Central Lane Hotel. Source: Google Maps.


Const Roberts said a bystander pulled Wood back and, entangled, they both stumbled backwards into the gutter.

The officer said Wood was argumentative and extremely irate, saying "f**k off you c***s, I didn't do anything wrong, f*** off".

Conducting his own defence and also giving evidence, Wood said the incident began inside the hotel when his girlfriend was sexually assaulted by a patron.

"I told him not to touch my girlfriend's behind. He then attacked me," he said.

With a gash to his head Wood and the man were made to leave through separate doors with Wood claiming the big Maori guy then went looking for him.

"I would have been tipsy but not heavily intoxicated," Wood said. "I was wrestling with a big man; I had no idea police were there.

"My girlfriend screams so bloody loud I wouldn't have heard the police siren.

"I saw a big sweaty head. I got my legs around his waist. I did manage to get a few cheeky ones (punches) on him.

"I had two options, let him kill me or try to protect myself."

Wood said he only kicked out at the window and perspex to get police attention because the handcuffs were too tight and hurting, and although he had strong legs from the gym he had no intention of breaking the glass.

"I applied them (handcuffs) in a way I was trained at the Police Academy," Const Roberts said, when cross-examined by Wood.

"I heard this massive very loud noise like a crack from the police car two or three times.

"It was so loud I thought the window was about to smash."

Mr Clarke found the case against Wood proven.

After consideration of all aspects of the case, and because Wood said he wanted to join the police force and was travelling to Canada to work, he did not record a conviction.

Mr Clarke said the behaviour had been outrageous and he must reflect on his behaviour when drinking.

Wood was fined $1000.

* Note: This story initially ran with the headline: Bum grab leads to street brawl and heavy fine in court. It was changed February 10, 2016.

Topics:  boyfriend court gladstone police

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