Christmas party thug receives 3 month suspended sentence

A COMPANY Christmas party turned violent when a Cooroy man attacked and punched a Rainbow Beach bartender at Rainbow Beach Surf Life Saving Club on November 15, last year.

Rhys James Ussing, 29, pleaded guilty in Gympie Magistrates Court on Tuesday to assault occasioning bodily harm.

The court heard Ussing had been drinking with colleagues at the end-of-year party when the bartender refused to serve an intoxicated member of the party.

Ussing verbally taunted the bartender, before leaving with his colleagues when the bar was closed.

Shortly afterwards, his wife, who was holding their infant child, approached the bar to apologise for her husband's rudeness, when Ussing rushed in behind the bar and attacked the bartender.

CCTV footage was submitted to the court showing the victim fall to the ground.

Friends of each party restrained the men, but Ussing struggled towards the victim, punching him repeatedly in the head.

The bartender suffered damage to his wrist and shoulder and bruising to his head.

When issuing a sentence, magistrate M. Baldwin said she had to be mindful the community was sick of violence and any violence would be dealt with severely.

Ussing was sentenced to three months jail, suspended for nine months, and was ordered to pay $1000 in compensation.

A conviction was recorded.

Gympie Times


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