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Man could have to fire staff, lose business over criminal conviction

Kirkwood Rd.
Kirkwood Rd. Mike Richards GLA

A 25-year-old business owner told his lawyer that a criminal conviction against his name could see him lose his job and need to fire all eight of his employees.

The conversation of whether to record a conviction or not came after Joshua Daniel Peter Ratcliffe pleaded guilty to one count of commit public nuisance in the Gladstone Magistrates Court.

Ratcliffe operates his concreting business out of Brisbane however on July 30, travelled to Gladstone with mates for a fishing expedition.

Police prosecutor Gavin Reece said after a day of fishing Ratcliffe and mates decided to finish the day off with a few drinks at the pub.

The group were travelling along Kirkwood Rd in a courtesy bus when he and another man began to argue.

The pair began to get aggressive towards each other and the driver of the courtesy bus pulled over.

The two males spilled out onto the road near oncoming traffic and began to physically fight.

When police were called officers found Ratcliffe walking down the road shirtless; they soon located the other man involved and tried to organise a truce.

However, instead of shaking the man's hand when it was offered in apology, Ratcliffe punched him multiple times in the face, causing the fight to stir up again.

Both were arrested.

Defence lawyer Rio Ramos said her client had been on a one-off trip however, arguments with the other male had been "brewing" all day.

"This man had been egging my client along for a fight, even though my client was trying to control himself," she said.

Ms Ramos said her client's last offence was six years ago, before he met his now-fiancé.

She said he had kept out trouble since and the pair were looking at starting a family.

"He didn't trust when the man put his hand out to shake that it was going to be friendly," she said.

"If a conviction is recorded in court today he might lose his licence to run his business and therefore would lose all of his employees; eight people's jobs."

However, given Ratcliffe's criminal history, magistrate Melanie Ho said she wasn't persuaded that a conviction should not be recorded.

"You have not persuaded me that you are going to definitely lose your licence if a conviction is recorded and your criminal history (involving assault occasioning bodily harm) works against you," she said.

Ms Ho imposed a $900 fine, a conviction was recorded.

Topics:  gladstonecourt



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