Nilly Mooney (front),15, is being remembered as a
Nilly Mooney (front),15, is being remembered as a "beloved cousin" and a beautiful soul. Picture supplied

Brother of alleged hit and run victim jailed over brawl

THREE days after burying his little sister in an emotional farewell following an alleged hit and run, Jai Mooney stood in a courtroom dock and pleaded guilty to his role in a vicious pub bashing.

He did not start the fight.

In fact, Mooney had been enjoying a night out with his terminally ill father and other family at the Andergrove Tavern when another group began yelling out racist remarks.

Mackay District Court heard Mooney became enraged after he was told by his mate and co-accused Benjamin Thomas O'Keefe that the victim had assaulted his terminally ill father.

Jai Mooney avoided a custodial sentence over a vicious pub attack in Andergrove.
Jai Mooney avoided a custodial sentence over a vicious pub attack in Andergrove.

It was May 28, 2018 when both groups at been at the popular watering hole.

A friend of victim Nicholas Dwyer has yelled the racist comments, but tensions subsided and that group was asked to leave the area.

However Mooney's father, William Mooney, took issue with Mr Dwyer and his friend when they returned to the area - as a result Mr Mooney and the victim "shaped up" to fight and both fell to the ground.

At this time Mr Dwyer was knocked unconscious fracturing his eye socket.

O'Keefe told Mooney, who was not present, that Mr Dwyer had hit his father.

Mooney told the victim, "Get your f***ing fists up, I'm going to f***ing deck you" before unleashing a flurry of blows while Mr Dwyer cowered behind his arms.

"A security guard who was there described it as (Mooney) standing over him and just flogging the sh*t over him," Crown Prosecutor Lara Soldi said.

Mooney, 22, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm and common assault.

O'Keefe, who has already pleaded guilty to his role in the assault, was given 120 hours of community service and ordered to pay $2000 compensation.

Nilly Mooney's sister, Ebony Mooney, was comforted by fellow mourners at her sister's funeral at New Life Church, North Mackay. Photo: Zizi Averill
Nilly Mooney's sister, Ebony Mooney, was comforted by fellow mourners at her sister's funeral at New Life Church, North Mackay. Photo: Zizi Averill

The past 12 months have been heartbreaking for the Mooney family, first with patriarch William Mooney dying of terminal cancer in June last year.

Then his 15-year-old sister Nilly Mooney was tragically killed when she was allegedly struck by a vehicle about 3.20am on March 1 at Beaconsfield this year.

Defence barrister Scott McLennan said Mooney had become "absolutely enraged" after being told his gravely ill father had been assaulted.

"In my submission alcohol didn't play much of a role," he said.

Mr McLennan said his client was working full time and had no criminal history.

Judge Paul Smith labelled it a "pretty vicious attack" and said Mooney has "just lost his temper".

"You should have just walked out… taken him (your father) to hospital," Judge Smith said.

Mooney was handed an eight-month wholly suspended jail term and ordered to pay $3000 compensation.


QLD election live: How every seat is falling

QLD election live: How every seat is falling

Queensland’s election is set to go down to the wire CHECK OUR INTERACTIVE

NOT OVER YET: BOM warns more storms likely to impact Burnett

Premium Content NOT OVER YET: BOM warns more storms likely to impact Burnett

Storms are developing across the Burnett region – bringing potentially destructive...

‘Polls can be wrong’: Volunteers share their election views

Premium Content ‘Polls can be wrong’: Volunteers share their election views

With storm clouds brewing in the Burnett, we asked Nanango electorate party...