Man banned after headbutt

THURGOONA man Casey Merkel is banned from going to the New Albury Hotel and has a criminal conviction after he headbutted another patron in the early hours of January 12.

Merkel, 34, of Bulla Crescent, pleaded guilty in Albury Local Court yesterday to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Solicitor Paul Robb explained the case had been deferred so that Merkel could view footage of the incident.

But after he saw the footage, he expressed shame and remorse about the way he had behaved.

Mr Robb said Merkel had been to a wedding and was intoxicated.

He went to the hotel and saw the victim pointing at him.

“He says a threat was made towards him and then he behaved the way he did. He certainly regrets the situation,” Mr Robb said.

The court was told in tendered police facts that Merkel and the victim had known each other for about 10 years.

The victim was standing in the beer garden at the New Albury with a group of friends about 11pm on January 11.

Merkel approached and told the victim that he did not want any more conflict between them.

But Merkel later returned between 2.30am and 3am and an argument took place.

He was leaning over beside the victim less than a metre away and told him to leave the premises, but he refused.

Merkel struck the victim to the left side of the face with his right forearm.

When the victim turned around, he was headbutted by Merkel to the nose, which immediately caused it to start bleeding.

Security arrived, separated them and the victim’s clothing was covered in blood due to a cut on the bridge of his nose.

The victim subsequently attended the police station to make a statement and a photograph of his injury was taken.

Police obtained closed circuit footage of the incident from the hotel, which clearly showed what happened.

Officers spoke to Merkel on February 25 and he claimed the victim made a threat.

Merkel was convicted, put on an 18-month bond and fined $500.

He cannot contact the victim, go within 50 metres of him and is banned from the hotel.

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