Man bailed over alleged fight

A MAN was released on bail after being charged with grievous bodily harm following an alleged Christmas Eve fist fight that landed the victim in a Brisbane hospital fighting for his life.

Michael Patrick McGuire, 50, of Boolboonda, applied for bail in Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens told the court McGuire and Colin Robert Lavaring, 66, had had a fight about gates on Nearum Road — a public road that cuts through McGuire’s New Moonta cattle property, near Gin Gin.

Sgt Stevens said the cattle farmer punched the victim in the head and he fell to the ground.

The police prosecutor said Mr Lavaring was now on life support in the Royal Brisbane Hospital with critical head injuries.

“Injuries included a broken left cheek, broken jaw, swelling to the brain and there is every sort of indication that if Mr Lavaring pulls through this he will have significant brain damage,” Sgt Stevens said.

The police prosecutor said McGuire had pleaded guilty in 2005 in the city’s magistrates court to common assault and wilful damage after another fight between the pair.

Defence counsel Simon Burgess said there had been a 10-year feud between the neighbours.

“The prosecution’s evidence is consistent with a consensual fight between two men,” he said.

“Over time (McGuire) had been treated by a long-standing family, who happens to be his neighbours, who have maligned him ... simply because he wasn’t a local.”

Mr Burgess said the victim accused McGuire of lighting fires that raged through his property in October, before Mr Lavaring threw the first punch.

“The police evidence supports, strengthens and confirms the defences of reasonable use of self defence and raises issues of foreseeability of the injury,” Mr Burgess said.

He also argued the triple-0 telephone recording of McGuire calling for help showed the cattle farmer was concerned for the victim.

Magistrate John Smith granted McGuire’s bail, with conditions he stays away from the Lavaring family. The case was adjourned for committal mention on February 22 next year.

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