Bundaberg Court House.
Bundaberg Court House. Brian Cassidy

Dad breaks glass bottle on bar, smashed it on man's head

A BUNDABERG father will spend the next seven months behind bars after he hit a man with a smashed glass bottle for stealing his tobacco.

Paul Raymond Steed, 37, was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment in the District Court yesterday.

The eight charges against him ranged from assault occasioning bodily harm whilst armed to obstructing police and public nuisance.

The court heard on May 26, 2016 the father-of-four was drinking with his partner at the Melbourne Hotel when someone stole his tobacco. Steed pushed a nearby man he thought was responsible and then took his shirt off.

"You swung a punch at the complainant and struck him in the mouth," Judge William Everson said.

"You hit the complainant on the back of the head, causing him to fall unconscious and when he regained conciousness, you put him in a headlock and pulled him over to the bar table.

"You grabbed a glass spirit bottle and smashed it against the bar and struck the complainant on the body and the head with the broken bottle several times."

A fight between Steed and the 27-year-old, who suffered only minor injuries, lasted until police arrived at the pub.

Steed injured his shoulder in the fight which led to the loss of his fruit-picking job.

Despite his client's 30-page South Australian criminal history, Steed's defence barrister told the court the man worked for most of his life.

But Judge Everson argued the 37-year-old wasn't being sentenced over his work ethic.

Steed's defence barrister pointed out the offending only occurred because someone had stolen his client's tobacco, which Judge Everson acknowledged.

"I accept that. But once he smashes a glass bottle and attacks someone, his offending escalates to a level of propensity where the stealing of the tobacco is not particularly relevant," Judge Everson said.

The court heard Steed left school in Year 8 and had been a heavy drinker since he was 14.

"Your conduct involving drunken fights in licenced premises litters your South Australian history," Judge Everson said.

Steed also has a New South Wales and Victorian history.

In 2011, Steed was sentenced to 21-months imprisonment for punching his friend, breaking his jaw in two places.

His barrister said Steed's actions culminated after finding out a girl he'd been caring for, after his previous partner left her, wasn't his biological child.

"Grief and abuse of alcohol followed," he said.

Steed was sentenced to 18 months, six months and one month imprisonment respectively for the three assault offences in 2016.

He received an extra three months on top of the 18-month head sentence for crimes committed in 2017 and 2018 including a count of assaulting police.

Parole release was set for April 19, 2019.



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