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



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

WICET's $1.06 billion trouble as deficit blows out

NO TRIAL YET: WICET has put back a trial vessel to the start of March, while the rest of the project is strong on track.

EMBATTLED project with more than 90 employees takes another blow.

He burnt teen lover's face, wiped faeces on police cell

**** WARNING: DO NOT LIGHTEN ***TOUGH JOB: Edon Place staff witness the sad cycle of domestic violence in the Bundaberg region each day.Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail

DISGUSTING, abusive teen smears his faeces all over a police cell.

Nightclub hell: Gladstone teen's horror night out

Molly Dawes had drink spiked while out in Gladstone.

The second time it happened I don't remember anything past 11.30pm.

Local Partners

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

Saying "I do" changed Shia's outlook on marriage

Shia LaBeouf has a new outlook on marriage since he tied the knot.

Singer tunes in to first movie role

Tori Kelly voices the character Meena in the movie Sing.

Musician Tori Kelly voices Meena the teenage elephant in Sing

Cricketing greats bring Aussie mateship to commentary box

Cricket commentator Adam Gilchrist.

ADAM Gilchrist enjoys the fun of calling the Big Bash League.

The dead help solve the case

Debut novel delivers on wit, violence and shock

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Family scoop bargain $160K 'holiday home' in Gladstone

BARGAIN: A Biloela family has purchased 21 Ann St for $160,000. They try to get to Gladstone at least once a month.

ADVERTISED as "renovate or demolish", but snapped up for getaway.

REVEALED: Gladstone property prices hit lowest in downturn

Aerial View overlooking Kin Kora residential area, Gladstone.



Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer

GLADSTONE PROPERTY prices have hit their lowest since the bust.

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!