Accused tells of fitness regime

MARTIAL arts enthusiast, physiotherapist and former security guard Dean Phelps has told a jury at his trial on assault charges that he runs, does gym work, kick boxing, jujitsu and wrestling as part of his fitness regime, after taking up the activities to stop being bullied at a Byron Bay school.

Phelps, 26, of Suffolk Park, is one of three men accused over assault matters outside the Great Northern Hotel on the night of March 7 last year and is pleading not guilty in Lismore District Court to two charges of, in company with Lee Funnell, 26, of Brunswick Heads, assaulting Nathan Spratt, 31, causing him bodily harm; and threatening (along with Funnell) to use violence towards (hotel security guard) Campbell McFarlane and other people that would cause them to fear for their safety.

Nicholas Stafford Sharp, 27, of Ocean Shores, is also charged with the above offences and faces the serious charge that he inflicted grievous bodily harm withintent on Pottsville man Dallas Arnold.

Phelps, who denies he kicked Mr Spratt in the head and chest, said he had been recovering from surgery to a dislocated shoulder.

After leaving the Beach Hotel to follow his mates Sharp and Funnell down Jonson Street, Phelps said he went over and told Great Northern Hotel security guard Rose Argent ‘don’t let them in (Dallas Arnold and Nathan Spratt who were standing at the entrance), they’ve been in a fight at the Beachy’.

Phelps said he was offended, but not angry, when Spratt told him to ‘f..k off’, then a fight broke out. He said Spratt punched him on the chest and turned and hit Sharp on the back of the head.

Sharp (accused of head stamping Mr Arnold) said he could not explain why he first hit Mr Arnold.

“It was a mistake. Very bad judgement.” he said.

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