By Patricia Coats
PETER Thackeray cannot understand how the man who changed his son's life for the worst can escape facing up to the full consequences of his actions.
Mr Thackeray's son, also named Peter, had his jaw broken in two places during a brawl at the Queenslander Hotel on September 25 last year.
Aaron Darell Leslie Tindel, 22, was charged with grievous bodily harm over the injuries, but last week the charge was downgraded to assault occasioning bodily harm, because it could not be proven Tindel's blows broke Mr Thackeray junior's jaw.
Tindel pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court, and was sentenced to six-months' probation, 80 hours' community service and was ordered to pay $400 compensation.
Mr Thackeray senior said they were told another person involved was alleged to have hit his son first.
"We weren't very happy at all," Mr Thackeray said.
Mr Thackeray said his son still had problems with his jaw, and would need further dental work and another operation.
The keen sportsman can no longer play football and fears going out at night on his own.
Mr Thackeray was especially disgusted with the $400 compensation Tindel was ordered to pay.
"It's a disgrace. My son lost five to six weeks work and his bite's not right," Mr Thackeray said.
The court was told Tindel had intervened in a fight between a friend and Peter Thackeray, punching Mr Thackeray jnr to the side of the face, then holding him in a headlock and hitting him again.
The court heard the fight was stopped by hotel security guards.
Magistrate Leanne O'Shea accepted it was not proven that Tindel broke the man's jaw, but said Tindel had no right to get involved. "This sort of behaviour is far too common in this area," Magistrate O'Shea said.
"If you had come before the court with any significant history I would have been considering a jail sentence."