Brand new friendship built on booze ends in drunken assault

The men were united by alcohol, but a fight over the booze led to a violent assault.
The men were united by alcohol, but a fight over the booze led to a violent assault. Megan Lewis

A SHORT friendship between two men has come to a violent conclusion over the same thing that brought them together - alcohol.

Robert Francis Smith, 30, appeared in Maroochydore Magistrates Court yesterday pleading guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm in a public place while adversely affected by alcohol.

The court heard the men met on a bus on the way to Pacific Paradise, after the complainant called out that the next round was "his shout" and anyone was welcome to join him.

Smith took up the offer, and the pair chatted before stopping to buy more drinks from a tavern.

But the friendship turned sour as they waited for the next bus, when an argument broke out after the complainant said he deserved the last swig of alcohol.

"Both parties were heavily intoxicated," Smith's lawyer told the court.

Smith attacked the man with such ferocity the complainant required $6767 worth of medical care, mostly in dental fees.

Smith had been on a disability pension since he suffered brain damage in a one-punch attack at Corbould Park Racecourse several years ago.

He suffers epileptic fits between once and three times a week, often involving trips to hospital.

Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist said the complainant, who was also on a disability pension, should be eligible for free dental care.

He said it was remarkable that Smith, who was the victim of a violent attack himself, should inflict the same on someone else.

He sentenced Smith to three months in prison suspended for 12 months and recorded a conviction, but decided not to order restitution be paid as the complainant had not provided receipts and Smith could not afford to pay the amount.

Topics:  alcohol assault court crime maroochydore magistrates court

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