A teenager who kicked a man who was lying helpless on the ground in the Wollongong CBD then brutally bashed two women who tried to intervene has been found guilty of his crimes.
All three of Zayne Taki's victims were taken to hospital after the March 12, 2023 brawl, with one of the women left with a broken nose and black eye, while the other was left with a cut to her head and broken tooth.
The women and man were known to him.
"Brutal, cowardly and violent is the only way I can describe his (Taki's) conduct," the magistrate said.
The Central Coast teen pleaded not guilty to five charges, including affray. He pleaded guilty to one count of common assault relating to the man, but claimed he had been provoked.
CCTV footage aired in court showed Taki and a man in a "scuffle" on Atchison Street about 1.30am after they left the Heyday nightclub, which escalated into a brawl as a group ran to join the fight.
The man fled, however, Taki took him to the ground, telling the court he believed the man was running to retrieve a weapon.
Asked what sparked this belief, Taki responded: "In the heat of the moment I feared for my life, in this strange city I've never been to, I don't know what the people are like."
Taki was then seen kicking and punching the man while he lay on the ground, before Taki dragged him by the shirt.
Two women who were walking by tried to intervene as they saw the man "getting his head kicked in".
The footage showed Taki had turned his attention to the women, unleashing a barrage of kicks and punches on them, causing one to fall to the ground.
He had punched one of the women at least seven times in the face, knocking her out.
"I struggled to breathe due to there being so much blood in my nose and mouth," the woman told the court in January.
Taki fled the scene of the brawl with four of his friends in a car, while the three victims were taken to Wollongong Hospital where they were treated for their injuries.
In arguing self-defence, Taki said the man he assaulted had come up to him from behind and hit him in the face prior to the street fight erupting.
He added one of the women had grabbed onto his gold chain necklace, prompting him to punch and push her away.
However, Magistrate Les Mabbutt found Taki guilty of common assault, affray, and two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, saying the footage objectively contradicts Taki's claim that he had only punched the man "a couple times".
"The defendant punched the man at least six times, kicked him more than once, dragged him, and stomped him more than once," the magistrate said.
"The photographs indicate these women had been injured to a substantial degree. He has appeared to come through this whole incident with no injury whatsoever.
"I cannot find he had an honest belief, because it's flawed."
The magistrate also scathed Taki's behaviour on the witness stand as he made several derogatory comments towards the victims, including that they "can't fight very well".
Magistrate Mabbutt praised the two women, who were in court for the decision, for intervening to protect an innocent man they didn't know.
"They did something not many people would do these days, and that's helping someone," he said.
Taki was found not guilty of two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company, with the magistrate noting the prosecution wasn't able to established who else was involved in the brawl.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Chris Manning made a detention application after the decision was handed down, arguing a message needed to be sent to the community that alcohol-fuelled violence will not be tolerated.
The magistrate dismissed the application and said full-time custody is not inevitable, meaning Taki will await his sentence date in April while on bail in the community.