Severity appeal dismissed

PLASTERER Matthew James Bell took offence at a man queue-jumping in a Byron Bay bakery and punched him on the nose.

Bell did not anticipate Patrick (Stephen) Delaney would then whack him on the head with a beer stubbie, causing a nasty wound and splattering his blood over other customers queuing at 3.30am to buy munchies in the Hot Bread Kitchen on December 29 last year.

Despite coming off worst in the encounter, Bell, 26, from East Ballina, pleaded guilty in Byron Bay Local Court in March to assault causing bodily harm to Mr Delaney, and received a court order to complete 120 hours of unpaid community service work.

Bell lodged a severity appeal before Judge James Black in the Lismore District Court this month on the grounds the sentence was too heavy.

Bell’s lawyer Vince Boss sought a supervised bond instead.

Police facts state the assaults took place when around 14 people were at the bakery.

Delaney walked in holding a stubbie of beer. He saw friends near the counter and tried to move through the crowd.

Bell believed he was attempting to push in and pushed Delaney back twice before punching him on the nose.

Delaney retaliated by striking Bell over the head with the beer bottle.

The bottle shattered over his head, spraying blood over the bakery floor and other customers.

Bell was taken to Byron Bay Hospital and received five stitches to a wound above his right eyebrow and two stitches to another wound on his forehead.

Delaney suffered a bleeding nose and a swollen upper lip and was charged with recklessly wounding Bell.

Judge Black queried as to what was so ‘heavy’ about the work order.

Mr Boss replied Bell was working full-time and doing fitness training for Aussie Rules and the work order would consume his client’s time.

The judge dismissed the severity appeal and confirmed the orders of Magistrate Michael Dakin.

“I fail to see anything oppressive in the sentence he got. You can’t go thumping people because they are trying to jump the queue,” Judge Black told him.



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