News

Pool sex romp sparks row: Rigger charged with assault

TURKEY Beach rigger Matthew Jermanus tried to avoid a fight with his boss at a drunken Christmas party for JB Scaffolding and Rigging in Gladstone, his District Court trial has heard.

Jermanus is pleading not guilty to assault causing bodily harm to site manager Leonard Potter, 42, at a New Auckland house just after midnight on December 8, 2013.

Mr Potter in evidence says he has no memory of the violent events that night.

In his opening address Crown prosecutor Sam Bain described it as a brutal and excessive assault that included blows when Mr Potter was on the ground.

He said Mr Potter was taken to Gladstone Hospital with bruising to both eyes and was later diagnosed with post concussion syndrome and admitted to a Brisbane hospital for tests.

He said subsequent CT scans had not determined the cause of seizures suffered by Mr Potter.

Allegations include Mr Potter was punched and kicked and that he became angry when some guests had a sex romp in the swimming pool.

In cross examination Mr Potter maintains he has no memory of events that night or that he was wrestling playfully with Jermanus.

Questioned by barrister Jordan Ahlstrand (for Jermanus) that he became angry over a couple he and other guests saw having sex in the pool, and that he was taken out to the front of the house to calm down, Mr Potter said he could not recall.

Mr Potter said he could not remember kissing a woman at the party or saying to Jermanus, "It's not what it looked like", or Jermanus laughing and saying, "Mate, I don't care".

He also could not recall whether Jermanus had acted in self defence to an assault initiated by himself, and that he (Mr Potter) had grabbed the feet of Jermanus then punched him in the genitals.

Former JB work health and safety manager Jo Anne Burke said she saw Mr Potter "throw the first punch" at Mr Jermanus.

"(Then) they were both punching into each other. Matt was punching into Lenny," Ms Burke said.

"I'm certain he (Potter) threw the first punch. Yeah, it was hard. I heard him (Jermanus) say, 'I don't want to fight you, mate'."

LATEST: Jury finds rigger not guilty of boss's assault

Topics:  assault christmas party crime editors picks gladstone district court



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