Teen’s ‘violent’ unprovoked punch to Ocean St reveller
A teenager has been told by a magistrate "one punch can and will kill" after he punched someone in the back of their head as they were waiting in line for a club.
Reef Noah Madden-Smith, 19, came up behind a man standing in line for the Old Soul nightclub and punched him in the back of the head.
Police prosecutor Lee Allan told Maroochydore Magistrates Court police were conducting patrols on Ocean St, Maroochydore on March 15 when they were called to the club.
"They observed two security guards restraining the defendant on the pavement in front of the nightclub," he said.
"Police spoke with security who stated the defendant had been restrained after he walked up behind a male person who was standing in a line to enter the club.
"At that time the defendant was observed to use clenched fists to strike the male in the back of the head."
The court heard the 18-year-old victim, who suffered pain and a headache, told police the punch was unprovoked.
"He stated immediately after being struck to the head by the defendant, he stumbled and heard ringing in his ears for several hours later," Senior Constable Allan said.
Sen-Const Allan said it was concerning that CCTV footage showed the victim was looking down at his phone when Madden-Smith came from behind and punched him.
"The behaviour of the defendant was violent, thankfully the victim didn't receive any significant injuries as a result of the assault upon him," he said.
Madden-Smith pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Monday to assault occasioning bodily harm.
His lawyer Natasha Shorter told the court Madden-Smith had offered to pay compensation to the victim.
"He had been perhaps associating with a poor peer group and also had been consuming high quantities of alcohol," she said.
"There had been an unfortunate argument that had erupted earlier on in the night between my client's peer group and the victim."
Mr Shorter said Madden-Smith knew it was no excuse for his actions and was remorseful.
The court heard Madden-Smith had written a letter of apology to the victim and reached out to him on social media.
Magistrate Maxine Baldwin said she had to send a clear message that alcohol-fuelled violence would have serious consequences.
"One punch can kill and one punch does kill," she said.
"Just because you're drunk, it's not an excuse."
Ms Baldwin sentenced Madden-Smith to 18 months probation.
He was also ordered to pay $500 compensation to the victim.
No conviction was recorded.