Matthew Smith fined for punching man in head at Rockingham Hotel

A MAN claimed someone taking issue with his choice of clothing as his reason for punching someone in the head.

Matthew Roland Smith pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm when he appeared at Rockingham Magistrates Court last Friday.

The prosecutor said Smith was at the Rockingham Hotel on September 29 when the assault happened.

Smith approached the victim and asked him to go outside where they exchanged words before Smith suddenly punched the victim to his face causing him to fall down and hit the ground.

The victim received a cut lip and scratches on his chin.

Due to the possibility of a head injury an ambulance was called for the victim.

Smith told police he “wanted to know what the guy had against me” and they went outside and “the guy said ‘let’s go’”.

His lawyer, Malcolm Ayoub said the facts were accepted.

“There was an incident three weeks earlier where the victim had bent back my client’s finger at the hotel,” he said.

“The victim said to him ‘what are you doing here in a collared shirt?’ and then bent his finger back.

“(Smith) went again and the same guy was there and he said ‘let’s go’ so my client punched him.

“He didn’t do anything else and he walked away.”

The lawyer said Smith was respected, came from a good family and that his father was former Rockingham mayor Laurie Smith.

He said Smith had references from prominent people in Rockingham including mayor Barry Sammels and a retired police sergeant.

He said his client helps in a soup kitchen and works as a scaffolder for BHP.

He said his client had stopped drinking and had organised counselling.

He asked for a spent conviction.

Magistrate Vivian Edwards said Smith had prior alcohol-related convictions.

“I can see why he needed help with alcohol,” she said.

“He has two convictions in recent years to do with alcohol.”

His lawyer asked for a fine.

“But don’t make it payable to the victim – I don’t think it’s appropriate,” he said.

Magistrate Edwards ordered reparation for the ambulance bill of $949 and fined him $1800.

She granted a spent conviction.

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