Was poker machine assaulter 'goaded' into attack?

"LOOSE language" could determine whether a man was jailed for too long for an assault about the use of a Redbank Plains Tavern poker machine.

Mulufuaina Iese was sentenced to 18 months jail, to serve four months in prison for a late night bashing at the bar.

He has taken his matter to the Brisbane Court of Appeal claiming the judge sentenced him as being "unprovoked" rather than "largely unprovoked" and that his sentence was manifestly excessive.

On July 2015, Iese went to use a poker machine at the Redbank Plains Tavern that was being used by a group of men.

There was a brief argument and Iese punched one of the men in the head. He threw other punches but the court heard it could not be determined how many of those punches landed.

Iese's lawyer Megan Power argued the initial judge had not considered the fact Iese was "largely unprovoked" rather than completely unprovoked.

She said when Iese was sentenced, both his defence and the prosecutors accepted there may have been a small level of "goading".

She said this should not be considered the same as the legal definition of "provocation".

But Crown barrister Carl Heaton said lawyers, the judge and Mrs Power had used the legal word provocation when they meant something else.

"The difficulty in this case is the rather loose use of language," he said.

Mr Heaton said the sentencing judge took the possibility of "goading" into consideration. Similarly, he said the sentence Iese had received was not excessive.

"There was no flaw in the process of reasoning or the process of facts," he said.

The court has reserved its decision.


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