Youth worker loses court battle but escapes jail time over park brawl

AN Orange City Council youth mentor and high profile footballer was involved in a drunken brawl in the middle of Robertson Park in the early hours of Sunday, November 1. 

In a hearing at Orange Local Court on Friday, Kurt Wayne Beahan said he was acting in self defence, but magistrate Terry Lucas threw out the argument. 

“If Mr Beahan had said ‘I was fighting, but any fighting was because I was getting punched’ ... it would have proved self defence, but he denied it,” Mr Lucas said. 

“The offence is found proven.”

Beahan told police he was not punching, rather he was the one who was being punched and he pleaded not guilty.

Police statements said the Aboriginal youth project worker was seen by officers in a fight with another man at Robertson Park at about 1am.

Near the two men were two more men also in a fight and about six to eight women were throwing high-heeled shoes at the men.

Canobolas Local Area Command Constable Guy Rosser said all four men were throwing punches. 

Constable Rosser yelled at the group to stop fighting, but Beahan and another man continued the fight so Constable Rosser used capsicum spray to stop them.

The men took off in opposite directions, but Beahan was stopped by another two officers on the opposite side of the park. 

Beahan’s solicitor Mick Madden said the 25-year-old had a responsible job and a job he took very seriously and was wary of the high public profile that came with that job.

“Especially considering he is also a high profile footballer ... I ask you to take into account the objective seriousness of the offence,” Mr Madden said. 

Mr Lucas asked Mr Madden why his client should not go to jail given the maximum penalty for offensive behaviour was three months in jail and that Beahan was already on a good behaviour bond for a mid-range drink-driving offence. 

Mr Madden said a jail term would have been appropriate if Beahan had not tried to escape the initial confrontation, which occurred earlier at the Hotel Orange. 

“He tried to do the right thing, but just didn’t quite get there,” Mr Madden said. 

Mr Lucas said Beahan had been drinking alcohol before the brawl and it would have affected his behaviour. 

“One thing the police are experts in is judging the effect of alcohol on a person,” he said.

Mr Lucas said the fact Beahan had already been given a second chance with a previous good behaviour bond “complicated matters”.

He fined him $600. 

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