Court overturns jawbreaking conviction
A MACKAY visitor convicted of breaking a man's jaw over a nightclub seating spat has been acquitted of the offence.
Kevin David Thomson, 43, from Grasmere in southern Sydney, was sentenced to two years and six months in jail after a jury found him guilty of grievous bodily harm in August this year.
The Queensland Court of Appeal found the evidence against Mr Thomson was insufficient to satisfy a jury beyond reasonable doubt of his guilt.
Three appeal court justices acquitted him of the assault on July 24, 2014 in the male toilets of Rum Bar in Mackay.
The appeal judgment, handed down on Tuesday, detailed how the assault occurred after the alleged victim told someone to "F...... off,” after they told him he was sitting in their seat.
About 20 minutes later, he was punched in the head in the toilets.
The case against Mr Thomson, who was alleged to have committed the offence while in Mackay for a mining conference, came down to identity.
The appeal court agreed there was not enough evidence to prove Mr Thomson was the person in the toilet where the assault happened.
The victim of the assault could not describe the person he argued with over the seat, or the person who attacked him in the toilet.
The trial jury relied on witness testimony from various patrons and a security guard who were present on the night.
Justice David Boddice said witness descriptions of the alleged assailant were "fleeting” and did not at all uniquely identify Mr Thomson.
Witnesses described the assailant as a "big guy”, who had a proportionate build.
There was conjecture over whether the assailant was wearing a dress shirt or a black t-shirt, like the one Mr Thomson was wearing.
There were also no marks found on Mr Thomson's hands.
- ARM NEWSDESK