Assault charges on trio dropped

THREE men who allegedly repeatedly kicked a man in the head leaving him temporarily blind, walked free from the Warwick District Court yesterday after charges against them were dropped.

James Thomas Bygroves, 20, Matthew Wayne Cole, 21, and Kenneth Gordon Leggatt, 24, faced one charge each of assault occasioning bodily harm after the alleged altercation outside the Warwick McDonald’s outlet on June 3, 2009.

The defence counsel told the court the man allegedly injured in the fray was on the Gold Coast and “chose not to attend the hearing” as he had his wisdom teeth removed.

The accused trio sat side-by-side in the dock as the defence counsel examined one witness who gave his version of events on that night.

The witness told the court he “basically couldn’t be bothered” to go the police station and give a formal statement after the alleged altercation which temporarily blinded his friend, the complainant.

He claimed he was also kicked in the head to the point of unconsciousness.

The defence counsel suggested the witness sustained injuries after running from the group and “happened because he was so drunk” from an all-day drinking binge.

“What are the chances you were so drunk and fell over and smacked your head that way?” the defence counsel said. “You can’t remember much because you were wasted and smoked a fair bit of drugs that day?”

The witness replied, “Nah”, and said he hadgiven upmarijuana since September last year.

“He (Cole) was screaming.... shaping up... wanting to fight,” the witness said.

“Tried to calm him down. He thought I was someone else.”

The witness said he could remember being kicked, blocking some of the blows with his arm, but blacked out. When he regained consciousness he could see his friend had been beaten and was waiting for an ambulance.

“Wouldn’t take a genius to figure it out who done it,” he said.

The Crown Public Prosecutor declined to examine the witness and dropped the charges against Bygroves, Cole and Leggatt after consulting with the complainant at the Gold Coast via a video link.

A fourth co-accused, Shaun Robert Sergent, was sentenced to eight months jail but was given immediate parole on September 29 last year after he was convicted of the assault.

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