Man punched hotel staffer in face

IT was a quiet night at Tin Can Bay’s Sleepy Lagoon Hotel on February 16 – or so bar staff thought. For that reason, they decided to close up early and called last drinks.

Tin Can Bay resident Matthew Scott Carne, 37, had been drinking at the bar that night. He left with a common assault charge and was fined $700 when he pleaded guilty in Gympie District Court. The court heard patrons had been served and the till closed when Carne asked to buy cans of alcohol to take away.

A bartender refused and Carne verbally abused staff, demanding to be served. His behaviour escalated to the point where the hotel manager picked up the telephone to call police.

Carne grabbed the phone off him and threw it, hitting another hotel staff member, who followed Carne outside to make sure he left.

The court heard he did this to make sure female staff members nearby were safe but Carne turned around and punched the man in the face. They wrestled to the ground and Carne was detained until police arrived and arrested him. Carne, of King Street, was fined $700.

In another District Court matter involving the Sleepy Lagoon Hotel, co-accused Peter James Reid, 54, and Tracy Ann Doherty, 45, pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening violence with a weapon at night.

The court heard Reid and Doherty, now of Dorsett Drive, Caboolture, were drinking at the pub on February 20 when there was a disagreement between Reid, another patron and a bartender.

They took it outside and Reid pulled out a fishing knife and threatened them. He lost grip of the knife when he was punched in the face and knocked to the ground but Doherty picked it up and continued to wave it around in a threatening manner.

They were both placed on probation for 12 months and ordered to do 40 hours community service.

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