Man broke bouncer's jaw at Lismore pub, but charges dropped
A YOUNG Casino man who broke a bouncer's jaw after being set upon by security staff outside a Lismore pub has had serious assault charges against him dismissed following a hearing in Lismore Local Court on Wednesday.
Chad Taylor was charged with reckless grievous bodily harm and two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm following the altercation outside Mary G's Irish Pub on Saturday November 11, 2017.
Giving evidence at the hearing, the 23-year-old concreter said he had spent the day at the Tabulam races with three other mates and had a "fair bit" to drink.
The festivities continued for the foursome after they left the races at about 5pm and ventured back to a friend's house.
At about 10.30pm, they decided to head to Mary G's nightclub The One.
Mr Taylor said he spent about an hour at the pub before a security guard asked him to leave while he was waiting for a round of drinks, because he appeared drunk. Taylor said he had argued, saying: "This happens every time I come to The One, you guys kick me out".
After being walked out of the pub and forcefully ejected down a flight of stairs on to Keen St, Taylor said he tried to walk back up the stairs a couple of times.
After that he said one of guards punched him and he punched back.
He said he saw "four or five of them" and there was "only one of me" and "I thought they were going to... all go at me."
That's when he said he was punched again and "retaliated". One of the punches thrown broke security guard Justin Zammit's jaw.
"It all happened very quickly," Mr Taylor said.
Part of the incident was captured on CCTV but not the critical punch.
Police prosecutor Carrie-Lee Locke argued Taylor's memory was shoddy because he was drunk and had "three or four lines of cocaine" that night.
She suggested "at no time" was Taylor surrounded by several security guards threatening him.
"Do you recall standing over Mr Zammit with your fists clenched?" she asked.
"Do you recall threatening to kill (another security guard) Mr Blakey?"
She said Taylor was the "aggressor" in the situation.
But Taylor's lawyer Megan Cusack said her client was unfairly "frogmarched" out of the building and then "quite violently pushed down the stairs".
She said Mr Zammit then "went at" Taylor with a "cocked fist".
"That... is a gesture which could cause (Taylor) to fear a reasonable apprehension of violence," she said.
"He's been punched, another person has gone at him with a threatening gesture and he's punched back."
In dismissing the charges, Magistrate Jeff Linden said it was "totally unnecessary" for the security guards to push Taylor down the stairs, and it was he was satisfied there was a punch thrown by Mr Zammit and Mr Taylor had responded with a punch.
He agreed Mr Taylor was accosted by "five or six" security guards, and self-defence was justified.
All the assault charges were dismissed.
Outside court, Mr Taylor's family said the incident would never have happened had the venue's security staff been more professional.