PUB PUNCH-ON: Warwick man in court over bar fight
ESCALATING a verbal argument into alcohol-fuelled violence, it only took one punch in a pub brawl to land this Warwick man a date with the magistrate.
Ricky Grant Johnson was having drinks with friends at the Sandy Creek Pub on January 25 when he got into an argument with another patron from across the bar at about 11.30pm.
The Warwick Magistrates Court heard the two men continued "bickering", with the altercation escalating to the point the 36-year-old was physically restrained by two friends trying to calm him down.
Police prosecutor Ken Wiggan said Johnson told his friends to let him go, then went around them and threw a "pre-emptive" first strike at the other man, knocking him to the ground.
Sgt Wiggan added there was no further violence, though the fall backwards left the man with minor injuries.
Defence lawyer Geoff Hobson told the court his client only threw the first punch after seeing his opponent move as though to strike, though conceded both men "should have known better".
Mr Hobson also emphasised the role each man's heavy intoxication played in the "stupid, one-off incident".
A personal reference from Johnson's current employer was submitted to the court, citing his "usually good character".
Magistrate Julian Noud denounced the 36-year-old's behaviour, chastising him for "heightening the situation" rather than defusing it.
Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of common assault and was fined $850.
MORE WARWICK CRIME NEWS: