POKER MACHINES: File photo.
POKER MACHINES: File photo. File

Man to pay thousands after headbutting poker machines

TIM Freedman might have urged us to "blow up the pokies" in 1999, but no one was singing the praises of a Gladstone man after his drunken decision to headbutt two of the machines at a local hotel.

The man's lawyer yesterday told Gladstone Magistrates Court his client had limited recollection of the incident, but was "shocked and embarrassed" at his own behaviour after viewing CCTV footage.

The court was told the 25-year-old stevedore had been drinking with friends on Tuesday, March 20, starting at a friend's house and then proceeding to different licensed establishments.

He ended up at the Central Lane Hotel, where he was playing the poker machines early on Wednesday.

The man's lawyer said his client accepted he had drunk a lot over the course of the evening and must have become upset while playing the machines - because at 2.48am he suddenly punched and headbutted two of them, causing $3015.29 worth of damage.

Asking magistrate Melanie Ho not to impose a conviction for wilful damage, the man's lawyer pointed out his client had no criminal history and had admitted his guilt "as best as possible given his limited recollection" when questioned by police.

He said the silver lining to the "bizarre episode" was that no one was injured and his client was now "acutely aware of the perils of binge drinking".

He also said his client had been detained by security as they waited for police after the incident, but had then been issued with a $630 infringement notice for failing to leave the establishment.

Magistrate Melanie Ho said she accepted the man was remorseful and embarrassed, but noted his intoxication was an explanation for his behaviour and not an excuse.

She ordered him to pay the full $3015.29 in restitution to the Central Lane Hotel and banned him from going there for six months.

She also fined him $300, but did not record a conviction.


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