Two men were sentenced in Milton local court this week after being found guilty of affray.
David Betts and Andrew Lawson got into a fight on August 17 last year which left Lawson with two broken wrists and facial injuries, and Betts with serious bruising.
Betts had gone round to his friend’s unit in Sussex Inlet to watch the football with a few other friends.
He spent a lot of time at his friend’s house and did not get along with the neighbour, Andrew Lawson.
Prior to the night of the 17th there had been a number of words exchanged between the pair and Betts had reported Lawson to the police for scratching his car.
On the night of the 17th police were called to the Sussex Inlet unit block after Lawson had been yelling profanities. They attended and asked Lawson to quieten down.
The court heart from several witnesses who said minutes after police left, Lawson was yelling again and threw a brick through the window of Betts’ friend’s unit.
Betts picked up a wooden picket and walked outside. He claimed he had walked out with the stick to defend himself and said in his evidence he had been scared of Lawson.
Magistrate Gabriel Fleming did not accept this and said he had, in her view, “walked outside with intent”.
Lawson came away from the fight worse off, with two broken wrists and facial injuries. He claimed Betts had used the picket to hit him across the wrists and had kicked him in the face.
Other witnesses told the court Betts had been pinned down the entire time and did not have a chance to throw punches at Lawson. They said one of his friends had managed to get Lawson off Betts after a few minutes and break the fight up. Another friend had thrown the wooden picket aside.
Magistrate Fleming found both men guilty and gave them a $1000 fine and a 12 month good behaviour bond.
“On his [Betts’] own evidence he left the home with a weapon,” said Magistrate Fleming.
“This is threatening and unlawful,” she said.
She also did not accept his argument of self defence, saying his response to Lawson was excessive, not reasonable.
“He was taking the law into his own hands.”
Magistrate Fleming also said Lawson had not been “full and frank” with the court.
“He was fully engaged and threw punches,” she said.
“This is unacceptable conduct.
“It affects the whole community.”
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