A Bundaberg man has been charged with assault occasioning bodily harm, after a fight broke out between two men.
A Bundaberg man has been charged with assault occasioning bodily harm, after a fight broke out between two men.

CBD ban after fracturing friend's skull in drunken fight

TWO young men have experienced first-hand how a night out mixed with too many drinks can escalate after one of them was left unconscious with a fractured skull.

On February 22 about 3.55am, Zeth Baide Lawton Nutt found a family friend sitting on the corner of Targo St and Woongarra St, outside the carpark of the Bundaberg CBD's McDonalds restaurant.

Both men were heavily intoxicated at the time of the incident, with Lawton Nutt, 20, attempting to convince the victim to call it a night.

After the victim declined the defendant's offers to help him get a taxi home, Lawton Nutt became frustrated and the pair had a verbal argument.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess said the victim, who is less than 165cm tall and weighs about 55kg, is somewhat smaller in size than Lawton Nutt.

Hoping to avoid further confrontation, the victim walked further along the fence line to sit down on a low timber railing, but the defendant followed him and continued demanding that the victim accept his help.

The altercation then intensified with both men pushing each other, before the defendant shoved the victim backwards, causing him to fall off the rail and hit his head on the concrete.

Paramedics from QAS arrived at the scene a short time later in relation to a separate incident, but were able to attend to the victim, who was knocked unconscious as a result of the fall.

Lawton Nutt and the victim were taken to Bundaberg Hospital, where the defendant admitted to causing the injuries and was collected by his mother.

The victim later regained consciousness in hospital and the medical report shows he sustained a number of injuries including an occipital skull fracture, minor arm bruising and leg scrapes.

He remained in hospital for two days before discharging himself.

Arriving at the police station with his mother, the defendant declined an interview after reviewing CCTV security footage of the incident and was granted bail to attend court.

Sgt Burgess provided Magistrate Andrew Moloney with an application to ban, as well as the defendant's criminal history which included wilful damage charges and a previous banning notice from last year.

Lawton Nutt said while he was genuinely trying to help the victim and then snapped, he recognised they both acted irresponsibly.

He said he was currently receiving counselling at IWC and stopped taking mood stabilisers recently, which were prescribed to assist with his anger management.

Previously employed as a youth worker, the defendant was concerned that the charges would impact his future job prospects and blue card eligibility.

Sgt Burgess said while he appreciated the 20-year-old defendant was young and had plans for the future, the incident was serious and at the high end of an actual bodily harm offence.

Magistrate Moloney agreed and noted how lucky the defendant was that the incident didn't end worse.

"This is a classic example of why there has been so much emphasis on trying to have safe places for people to go and have a night out," Magistrate Moloney said.

"When you leave here today, I really do hope you reflect upon how bad it could have gone."

The defendant was charged and convicted of one count of assault occasioning bodily harm however his conviction was not recorded.

He was fined $1500 and prohibited from entering the Bundaberg CBD precinct between the hours of 6pm and 6am the following morning, for a duration of 12 months.

As part of the ban order, he was also asked to report to the police station within 48 hours to provide a photograph.

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