Mandurah: man pleads guilty to Australia Day punch up assault, will reappear in court for sentencing in May

Stock image.
Stock image.

WHAT was meant to be a friendly celebration of Australia Day between friends turned into a drunken punch-up and a hospital visit.

Matthew Gavin Bryan (40) pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm when he appeared in Mandurah Magistrates Court today .

Friends through their partners, Bryan and a 43-year-old man had their boats moored on the Mandurah Inlet opposite Henry Sutton Grove foreshore on January 26.

Bryan’s defence lawyer Trent Petherick told the court the 43-year-old pushed Bryan’s partner into the water and her bikini top fell off.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Mick Fallows said the two men had a verbal argument while on the victim’s boat and Bryan partially pushed him to the floor, against the side of the boat.

Constable Fallows said “maybe Bryan’s wife’s bikini top came off and jealously was involved.”

Police said Bryan then pinned the man against the side of the boat and threw punches, striking him around the head.

Bryan continued to punch the man in the head until a woman from another boat jumped aboard the boat and stood between them preventing Bryan from striking him further.

Bryan then jumped off the boat and swam to his boat nearby.

The victim was taken to Peel Health Campus and was treated for heavy facial bruising including two black eyes and small cut on the bridge of his nose.

Mr Petherick said alcohol was consumed by Bryan and the victim.

Mr Petherick said a local Fisheries officer witnessed the start of the incident and thought it was a “play fight” until Bryan threw a “roundhouse punch”.

“This is very serious really,” Magistrate Anne Longden said.

Constable Fallows said he objected to the possibility of fines for sentencing as Bryan’s actions were “not trivial”.

Mr Petherick suggested a pre-sentence report be ordered before sentencing and Ms Longden agreed.

Bryan is set to reappear in Mandurah Magistrates Court on May 22 for sentencing.

MORE: Fremantle food van operator Ben French dies in hospital

MORE: The hidden effect of WA’s drug use uncovered in the home

MORE: Perth Zoo names four-week-old giraffe calf