Prank turned into violent showdown in RSL
A FORMER Gympie RSL employee told Gympie Magistrates Court he purposely went into the establishment with what looked like a bottle of liquor to stir up a former work mate, except the prank turned into a violent showdown in the middle of the venue.
Steven Dane Stiefvater, 47, went into the pokies area of the RSL while drinking from a bottle concealed in a paper bag.
The court heard he was asked to leave by an RSL employee because the bottle breached the venue's liquor licence.
Stiefvater became aggressive towards the employee in front of elderly RSL patrons there for the Morning Melodies, and began yelling and swearing at his former colleague.
He sprayed a tirade of abuse at the employee and when the victim turned to walk away, an intoxicated Stiefvater grabbed him on the arm, the court heard.
After the victim pushed Stiefvater away, he was punched in the head, it heard.
Despite police saying Stiefvater admitted to having a bottle of liquor in the venue, he explained to the court that the bottle did not contain alcohol.
He also said he had been assaulted by the employee and his violent outburst was a reaction to that.
He was charged with being drunk and disorderly in a public place, which he pleaded guilty to on Monday, but did not face any charges of assault from the April 24 incident. He was fined $800.