News

Jaw breaker who was abused, spat on, found not guilty

A FORMER security guard has walked free after fracturing the jaw of another bloke outside the Grand Hotel.

Paul Barry Smith, 33, was off-duty from his job when he punched out Adam Butler on July 15, 2010.

He appeared on Thursday in the Gladstone District Court, pleading not guilty to assault causing bodily harm.

Mr Smith, who had worked as muscle for musicians Shannon Noll and Jimmy Barnes, was having a drink with a mate at the Young Australian Hotel earlier in the day of the incident.

But things soon turned sour when Mr Butler, another punter at the pub, allegedly said he wanted to fight Smith, calling him a "f**king fa**ot".

Smith told the court he didn't want any confrontation, so he finished his drink and left.

He ended up at the Grand Hotel a short time later where he saw Butler arrive in a taxi with his partner Cindy Burnside, both 37 at the time.

The court heard the defendant and the couple were chest to chest as they exchanged heated words.

Butler allegedly spat on Smith who knocked him to the ground in response.

As Butler tried to get up, he threw another punch which Smith blocked before throwing another one back.

Smith yesterday told the court he reacted out of a fear of contracting hepatitis C from bodily fluids, including spit, due to the nature of his work.

"I was scared; I instantly freaked out," Mr Smith said.

The court saw CCTV footage of the incident.

Crown Prosecutor Susan Hedge argued that Smith's punches and block looked "hard, practised and professional".

Mr Smith told the court his first fight was probably with his teddy bears, the one and only time he punched a boxing bag was in high school and he had received no practical training to become a security guard.

Defence lawyer David Murray asked the jury to not judge Mr Smith by his shaved head, tattoos and earrings.

"You don't know anything about him," Mr Murray said.

"He responded just like you or I might respond. What would you do if you were spat on?"

Crown prosecutor Hedge said Mr Smith's reaction was disproportionate and unlawful, just like in State of Origin the night before when New South Wales player Paul Gallen took several swings at Queensland's Nate Myles.

The jury found Mr Smith not guilty.

Topics:  assault, gladstone, gladstone district court, grand hotel



WATCH: Gladstone crabber losing livelihood to theives

Alan Grayson is furious with the ongoing thefts of crabs and pots in the region.

GLADSTONE crabber warns off fish and pot thieves in Boyne waterways.

31-year-old man dies in 'tragic' Bruce Hwy smash

Emergency services at the scene of a fatal two-vehicle crash involving a car and a truck at the Bruce Hwy at Benaraby.

A 32-year-old man has died in a fatal crash on the Bruce Hwy.

Local Partners

Cliff Richard to release 101st album

Sir Cliff Richard's album cover

Sir Cliff Richard is to release his 101st album

CMC Rocks faces fan backlash over date change, headliners

The 10th annual CMC Rocks festival will be headlined by The Dixie Chicks.

FANS are not happy about festival being pushed back by two weeks.

Kim Kardashian West attacked by man trying to kiss her bottom

Vitalii Sediuk targeted Gigi Hadid last week

Madonna poses naked in solidarity with Katy Perry

Madonna posted her own nude selfie on Instagram

Carlos Santana added to Bluesfest 2017 line up

Carlos Santana at Bluesfest 2013.

Calling all local black magic women

Disney to remake 'The Lion King', and it's live-action

The Lion King is coming back to movie theatres

And this time it's going to be live-action.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

'Flex muscles': Gladstone suburb drops $120K

BUYERS are scooping unprecedented deals by “flexing their muscles at the table”

Few bright lights for property after mining downturn

The Gladstone Regional Council wants associated LNG companies like Bechtel to be apart of the EIS housing accommodation strategy from the outset of the projects and not mid-way through.

Tannum Sands continues to write its own property success story

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Market opens as Gladstone sellers drop prices to force sale

VENDORS are dropping the price on houses to force a sale.