How a spilt drink at the pub led to a one-punch hit
DRUNKEN tomfoolery at a popular Mackay pub led to a one-punch attack on a stranger over a spilt drink.
Darcy James Schwarz reached over a mate, who was being evicted, to punch a 25-year-old stranger in the face as he was allegedly heckling the situation.
Then 19, Schwarz had been drinking in the beer garden at McGuires with his girlfriend and mate when a random patron decided to "take a running leap and slide along the table on his chest".
Drinks were spilt over the trio and Schwarz's mate took issue and had a word with the jokester - as a result the man ended up on his back on the table and the mate was evicted from the pub.
Mackay District Court heard as security were walked Schwarz's mate outside a group, including the victim Jordan O'Reilly, followed the behind taunting and goading as he was removed.
Defence barrister Scott McLennan said his client became concerned when the Mr O'Reilly "got in his (mate's) face in circumstances where he was defenceless with both hands restrained behind his back by security".
"And in those circumstances my client punched the (victim)," Mr McLennan said, adding
Schwarz had thought Mr O'Reilly was going to punch his friend.
"He was mouthing off and then got in (his mate's) face."
Schwarz pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm and was handed two years probation and must complete 120 hours community service.
Crown prosecutor Claudia Georgouras said Mr O'Reilly received a bloody nose and now when he goes out "he's always watching around him because as far as he's concerned this punch came out of nowhere".
Born and raised in Emerald, the apprentice diesel fitter conceded he responded poorly in times of stress and had received some counselling sessions.
Judge Deborah Richards said the attack "basically involved you sticking your nose in, in a violent way, where it was completely unwarranted".
"It's not an unusual story before the courts that young people get involved in altercations like this … unfortunately sometimes to very, very serious results, sometimes death, often grievous bodily harm," Judge Richards said.
"The consequences of what you did could have been so much worse, you could be in jail for a very long time."
Schwarz must also pay $1000 compensation by January 21 next year or risk spending three months in jail.