Despite his client willingly taking part in a fist fight that flowed into the middle of Anson Street forcing traffic to stop, a solicitor for one of the men involved said part of the fight was self-defence.
Jake Powell, 24, of Phillip Street, was charged with affray for his part in the fight, which involved three men from two rival families in a busy area, at noon on July 7 during school holidays when families and elderly residents were in the area.
Powell started fighting a man his family had been having a decade-long feud with in a drive-way beside the Lord Anson Hotel after the two men ran into each other in a nearby shopping centre.
However, when a younger man from the other family took his shirt off and challenged him, Powell ran away and leaped over the treated-pine fence above the carpark.
Affray is a serious offence, it involves putting others in fear.Magistrate David Day
The shirtless man chased him but Powell turned back to fight, which solicitor Mason Manwaring said was self-defence.
“At the time [the shirtless man] became involved, my client is defending himself, my client clearly retreats, he jumps the fence, he’s chased,” he said.
However, police prosecutor Sergeant Carl Smith argued Powell should be jailed and showed footage of the affray in Orange Local Court.
“This is in the middle of the day outside of the entrance of a shopping centre,” Sergeant Smith said.
“This is not an offence against the other person, this is an offence against the state of NSW, it’s an offence against the Queen. He could have walked away at any time.”
MAP: The fight started in the driveway next to the Lord Anson and continued onto Anson Street ….
Magistrate David Day said the affray was aggravated by the number of people who were present and the flow-on affects once it travelled on to the street.
“Affray is a serious offence, it involves putting others in fear,” Mr Day said.
“There’s a little bit of self-defence” but Mr Day questioned if it was still self-defence when Powell continued fighting in the middle of Anson Street and said he could have run away.
“It’s a serious breach of the peace, in my view it deserves a custodial sentence,” he said.
However, he said Powell’s risk of reoffending was assessed as medium to low, and despite reservations about that he gave him a a two-year intensive correction order with rehabilitation and 150 hours of community service.
“If you don’t sort yourself out, you will end up going to jail for violence because the community will not tolerate your propensity for violence,” he said.
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