Court hears security guard's marriage dissolved after attack
A SLAP to the back of a red Toyota Hilux ute owned by Central Hotel security officer Christin "Papa" Anderson was the trigger for the violent attack of Irish backpacker Barry Smith.
But it was hotel bouncers Quade McGrory, 28, and Jason Ramett, 40, who first ran across the street and tackled Mr Smith to the ground, with Anderson arriving soon after.
The men had heard a loud noise and saw Mr Smith near the ute after he had been in a verbal argument with Anderson, who had refused him entry.
More details of events were heard in Bundaberg District Court today during submissions on sentencing.
Anderson, 35, changed his plea to guilty mid-trial on Wednesday.
He joined his co-accused in pleading guilty to assault causing bodily harm when in company on the evening of October 25, 2014.
Judge Terry Martin SC will hand down the sentence today after considering overnight defence submissions and those of Crown prosecutor Sandra Cupina.
Ms Cupina said McGrory and Ramett ran after Mr Smith, 25, and forced him to the ground. Anderson then assaulted him.
Anderson had been heard by a police officer at the scene to say "hit my car d***head", which Ms Cupina said was his motive for the assault.
Ms Cupina said it was Anderson who was criminally responsible for the most severe injuries, including fractures to Mr Smith's right eye socket and spine area.
"His entire body language changed because of the insult to his vehicle being slapped," she said, referring to CCTV footage.
"Anderson must be sentenced for much more serious conduct. He was head of hotel security and is criminally liable for a much more serious assault.
"He joined them and used his physical size to cause quite serious injuries."
Ms Cupina said McGrory's and Ramett's criminality was "there was no basis to force (Mr Smith) to the ground and detain him".
Barrister Catherine Morgan said Mr Smith drank 1.5L of cider that evening so it could be inferred that he was intoxicated at the time.
But Judge Martin said that was irrelevant to the assault as Mr Smith had left after being refused entry by Anderson.
"He was angry, annoyed. My client was called a 'fat f***'," Ms Morgan said.
Ms Cupina disputed that.
Ms Morgan claimed Anderson heard the loud bang, again disputed by the Crown, and looked around to see the two men run across the street.
And someone yelled out "Papa, he's hit your ute".
"The pictures (of injuries) don't depict a man whose been hit 40 times by a man who is 6 foot 7 inches and weighs over 100kg," Ms Morgan said.
Judge Martin said that was not in the facts.
"He (Anderson) accepts injury to his back (Mr Smith) could be caused by his putting weight to the back. It was not an injury deliberately caused," Ms Morgan said.
"He accepts his response was heavy-handed, particularly given his size and strength. It was negligent but wasn't malicious."
Ms Morgan said since the assault her client had lost his job and security licence and his marriage had dissolved.
She said said to people who knew him Anderson was "a gentle giant" and maintained he did not kick Mr Smith on the ground.
And at the time of the assault Anderson was exhausted and overreacted as he had been working three jobs, and had a new baby at home, she said.
Barrister Robert East said his client Quade McGrory, 28, accepted that grabbing Barry Smith and throwing him to the ground was unlawful.
But, he said, McGrory was not criminally responsible for what happened after that.
Mr East said McGrory's role as crowd controller that night was not to intervene in any physical altercation at the Central Hotel.
After Mr Smith was refused entry, McGrory said he heard him yell "for f***'s sake" and a bang as the Irish backpacker struck Christin Anderson's red vehicle.
In an "instinctive reaction" McGrory ran across the road.
"He wanted to detain him and make sure no damage was done to the vehicle," Mr East said.
Mr East sought a conviction not be recorded against McGrory, saying he had led a blameless life, planned to join the police force, had police friends and was in a relationship with an officer.
McGrory had his security licence suspended and now works on shed construction.
Barrister John Jacob for Jason Ramett, 40, also asked a conviction not be recorded as he had no prior criminal history.
He said Ramett was working now as a groundsman on a mining site and wanted to return to security work.
On the night of the offence he was filling in as a hotel security provider, Mr Jacob said.
"It was totally out of character," Mr Jacob said.