Cinema patron attacks 'noisy' teen

AN IPSWICH man assaulted a teenage boy at a cinema - because the boy laughed too much during the movie.

Oliver Thomas Payne, 29, was sitting in front of a group of teenagers for a screening of science-fiction hit Avatar on March 7.

The 15-year-old boy laughed during the movie, prompting Payne to turn around and swear at him, telling him to be quiet.

When the boy laughed a second time Payne stood up out of his chair, entered the boy's aisle and grabbed his victim by the shirt around the neck and chest area.

Payne then dragged the boy out of the aisle and dumped him on a nearby arm rest.

Ipswich Magistrates Court was told the victim immediately notified cinema staff, who approached Payne and asked him to leave.

Police Prosecutor Senior Constable Brad Dick said Payne was later identified from CCTV footage and the registration on his vehicle.

A defence lawyer for Payne said his client, a boilermaker, had suffered a workplace injury that required major back surgery five months ago.

The lawyer said the trip to the cinema, at Indooroopilly in Brisbane, was his first social outing, apart from visits to the doctor, since the surgery.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said Payne's reaction was unacceptable.

"You assaulted a 15-year-old boy because he interfered with your enjoyment of the movie," Ms Sturgess said.

"While 15-year-old boys aren't as good as adults when it came to understanding social norms, you are an adult.

"We have to put up with a lot at times and you have to be a bit more tolerant and patient."

Payne, from Minden, pleaded guilty to one charge of common assault and was fined $500.

No conviction was recorded.

An Event Cinemas spokeswoman declined to comment on the case, but said if someone was annoying you in the cinema the best thing to do was tell an usher.

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