Boys night out takes a knock
UNCLE Scott Alexander and his nephews Aaron Eilola and Shane Eilola ended up in a street brawl while out with mates on a fun boys night out.
However, when two of the eight mates apparently got mad at each other, the Valentine's Day morning eruption left one man knocked out cold and hospitalised suffering a fractured skull and a broken jaw.
Alexander, 41, who went to the aid of his nephew Shane (who was about to be assaulted), and his nephew Aaron, 19, who tried to break it up, only had minor roles and pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to affray while severely affected by alcohol in the early hours of Sunday, February 14.
They were both fined $600 and ordered to complete 40 hours of unpaid community service work.
Shane Eilola, 25, pleaded guilty to affray and fined $1000.
The case of affray involving their cousin Jacob Sowten, 24, has been adjourned to a later date.
Magistrate Mark Morrow found the affray was not premeditated, saying there was a difference between that and street violence that was spontaneous in what took place outside Central Lane Hotel.
With the two families defended by lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield, the court heard that a co-accused Douglas Allan Sheridan, 30, who pleaded guilty to affray, had already been sentenced to 40 hours of unpaid community service work for his role.
Ms Ditchfield said he received injuries including stitches to a lip wound.
"He was also the only person who had to be restrained by police when they arrived," she said. "My three clients all walked away."
However, Mr Morrow said he was sure that there were different versions of what took place as some of the men involved were drunk.
Ms Ditchfield said one group of the friends had already left the hotel but when one of her clients came out onto the steps later to leave, they had come back across the street and the affray took place.
She said Shane Eilola was "essentially trying to break things up".
"Mr Alexander is the uncle of all these young men (and Sowten)," Ms Ditchfield said. "He sees (Shane) surrounded by the group. He sees his nephew being shoved around by a group of five males. He goes over to attempt to stop it, to protect his nephew.
"It was not a deliberate or planned malicious act. It was very much spur of the moment."
She revealed Alexander had been off work since the violence after suffering a fractured wrist.
Mr Morrow questioned Shane Eilola if he had gone up to the other men.
"No your honour," he said, saying he had been unable to go back inside the hotel from that exit door to avoid the men.
Calling the affray "appalling behaviour" between men out fighting on Gladstone's streets and causing danger to others, Mr Morrow sentenced the men.