VIDEO| Gladstone men in street brawl near Central Lane Hotel
A NASTY street brawl outside a Gladstone hotel just after midnight on Valentine's Day ended with one man suffering a fractured skull and a broken jaw.
On what should have been a Sunday for love, police were called to a scene of violence on Central Lane.
Police prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens told Gladstone Magistrates Court the men took part in a fight that caused alarm to other people. Seven males and a woman were involved.
Scott Wayne Alexander, 41, Aaron Eilola, 19, and Jacob Sowten, 24, pleaded guilty to affray while adversely affected by an intoxicating substance; and Shane Kevin Eilola, 25, pleaded guilty to affray on Sunday, February 14.
After clearly giving their official pleas, duty lawyer Jun Pepito made an application for their matters to be adjourned to allow the men to get a private lawyer after realising the seriousness of the offences.
He said they needed to put some more material before the court.
Sgt Stevens opposed the application, saying when the men went before the court previously they indicated then they would plead to the police facts.
"They've had plenty of time, they've chosen not to. Their lawyer would have instructed them properly," he said.
"One victim had a fractured skull and broken jaw which was said in open court last time," he said.
"It should have read alarm bells. It is very disrespectful to turn up at the last moment (to engage another lawyer)."
Mr Pepito said Alexander was also injured in the fight and the men wanted to case conference (some aspects) of the facts.
VALENTINE'S DAY CLEAN UP |
When asked by magistrate Penelope Hay why the men were prepared to plead guilty previously to the facts as set out, (and did plead) Mr Pepito said no issues or complaints were raised at the time in their instructions.
Ms Hay said while she understood the frustration of prosecution in wasting court time and having prepared detailed submissions, at the end of the day defendants must be afforded natural justice and she would allow the adjournment of their sentences.
The four men will now be sentenced on April 21.
When they left the courthouse two of the men said their involvement in the fight was "self defence".