Man lashed out in fear of gun
A MAN told a court he punched a 65-year-old stranger during a night out because he thought the older man wanted to shoot him.
Anthony John Skinner mingled with the victim and his group of family and friends as they walked home from the Texas Cup Calcutta in December.
The Warwick Magistrates Court this week heard the members of the group had never met Skinner but he had "tagged along with them" for the walk home.
Things soon turned violent and the victim was punched and fell to the ground shortly after hearing someone yell "you guys have got a gun".
Police Prosecutor Ken Wiggan told the court the victim felt immediate intense pain to his head and had blood gushing down his face.
The victim and his attacker crossed paths again the following day at the Texas Cup and the victim was able to identify the man who assaulted him.
When spoken to by police, 57-year-old Skinner said he reacted because he thought the victim said he had a gun and wanted to shoot him.
Sgt Wiggan told the court the group never made any reference to a gun.
Magistrate Graham Lee questioned the validity of Skinner's claim to have punched the man out of fear of being shot.
"I find it somewhat extraordinary to say the least - if they have a gun, run the other way," he said.
Mr Lee scolded Skinner on his behaviour and said the only thing that saved him from serving time behind bars was the fact he was the sole carer of a teenager.
Skinner was sentenced to three months in jail but the term was wholly suspended for 12 months.