A man was assaulted during a fight at the Andergrove Tavern in May 2018.
A man was assaulted during a fight at the Andergrove Tavern in May 2018.

Pub brawl: Racial slurs spark violent bar fight

RACIAL slurs sparked what later became a brutal pub brawl and resulted in two mates facing court for assault.

A friend of victim Nicholas Dwyer initially provoked the violent incident at the Andergrove Tavern in May 2018.

He yelled racial insults at another group that included co-offenders Benjamin Thomas O'Keefe and Jai Lincoln Mooney.

Tensions subsided and Mooney even shook hands with the victim's group, who had been asked to leave the area.

But later Mr Dwyer and his mate returned to their original location and Mooney's father, who was extremely ill, took issue with them.

As Mr Dwyer's mate "shaped up" to William Mooney, the victim intervened and as a result he and Mr Mooney fell to the ground.

Mackay District Court heard it was at this point the victim was knocked unconscious fracturing his eye socket.

However O'Keefe told Jai Mooney Mr Dwyer had assaulted his father.


A man was punched during an Andergrove pub brawl.
A man was punched during an Andergrove pub brawl.


"And Mr Mooney became enraged," Crown prosecutor Lara Soldi said, adding that Mooney told the victim "get your f***ing fists up I'm going to f***ing deck you".

A security guard, who saw the fight, described it as Mooney "standing over the complainant just flogging the sh*t out of him".

When a friend of the victim tried to intervene, O'Keefe pushed him away and said, "leave it one-on-one".

O'Keefe, 24, pleaded guilty to assault on the basis on his "ongoing deliberate presence" and preventing the fight from being broken up.

He also later pushed Mr Dwyer, to that he pleaded guilty to common assault.

The court heard Jai Mooney also accepted the facts. He will be sentenced next week.

Defence barrister Nicholas Bennett said this offending was "deeply out of character" for the former high school swimming champion, who had no criminal history.

The court heard Mooney also had no criminal history.

O'Keefe was an electrician who worked three days a week, which Judge Paul Smith said gave him plenty of time for community service because it "provides punishment and it gives back to the community".

He was ordered to complete 120 hours unpaid community service, and he must pay $2000 compensation within nine months or risk going to jail for one month.

Convictions were not recorded.