Street brawl disgraceful

PEOPLE who watched as two family groups brawled in the streets of Hervey Bay last year would have been both frightened and alarmed.

That was the view of Judge Hugh Botting when he convicted three men in the Hervey Bay District Court of affray.

Richard John James, 32, Thomas Michael Punton, 48, and his son Thomas Edward Punton, 24, were spared convictions but fined $300 each for the incident on April 16 last year.

The court heard that the fight arose between the three men and members of a family with whom they’d had a long standing dispute.

The men, who each pleaded guilty, were travelling in a car when they saw members of the other family at the corner of Boat Harbour Drive and Nissen Street and jumped out of the vehicle to confront them.

Prosecutor Dzenita Balic said it was a consensual fight between the groups and that both Punton men were injured as a result.

The older of the two sustained a jaw injury and was left bleeding from the eye, while his son suffered extensive bruising to his whole face.

Ms Balic said that while the fight was consensual, such a display of violence was not tolerable.

She said James’ involvement was less than that of the other two but that he was in breach of a good behaviour order at the time of the offence.

“I’m not a violent person; I don’t wish to be,” James, who represented himself, told the court.

“As soon as I found myself in that situation, I felt stupid and didn’t want to be there.”

Judge Botting described the three men’s conduct as “disgraceful” before he fined each of them.

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