The Proserpine Court House Photo Peter Carruthers / Whitsunday Times
The Proserpine Court House Photo Peter Carruthers / Whitsunday Times Peter Carruthers

Two years jail for street fight

A PROSPERINE man is behind bars after using a fence post to take a running swing and hit the head of a man with whom he was having a fight.

Aaron William Donald Ferguson, who at the time of the offence was on two parole orders, appeared by video link to plead guilty on Monday to assault causing bodily harm while armed.

As Ferguson's wife supported him from the back of Proserpine Magistrates Court, the court heard Ferguson had been having after-work drinks with a friend at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Proserpine on October 13 last year, when he was encouraged by another person to put to bed some differences he was having with the victim.

After the father of four attended the victim's Hinchen St address at 6pm, a physical brawl broke out and Ferguson was tackled into a bush by the victim's friend who picked up a fence paling.

Ferguson took the fence paling out of the man's hands and ran back into the main fight where he took a running swing at the victim which hit him in the right side of his head.

Police prosecutor Hannah Beard said the man was taken to Proserpine Hospital to be treated for his injuries and needed stitches.

Lawyer Elizabeth Smith said the 26-year-old had moved to the area with his family from Brisbane for a fresh start and employment opportunities.

Ms Smith told the court this was not the first time Ferguson had had trouble with the victim and his associates; a few weeks prior Ferguson's wife was allegedly assaulted by another woman associated with the victim.

"It wasn't the case he went there with a weapon, it was an unfortunate circumstance it became involved," Ms Smith said.

"It escalated far beyond what all the parties anticipated.

"He instructs me he had a few drinks at the time but was not significantly affected, he described it as 'tipsy'... It was not unprovoked drunken street violence which is described here.

"As soon as he heard the police were looking for him he went to the police station, understanding he was likely not to walk away from there."

Magistrate Simon Young said this particular case was concerning because Ferguson had the opportunity to walk away but he chose not to.

"The community has a particular interest in seeing these types of crimes sentenced with appropriate weight and gravitates," Mr Young said.

Ferguson was sentenced to two years imprisonment and will be eligible for parole on November 5 of this year.

A conviction was recorded.

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