Sweethearts ban on manager’s attacker

CULCAIRN man Matthew James Naughton is $1000 out of pocket and on a 12-month bond over assaulting the manager of Sweethearts Pizza in Albury.

Naughton, 24, pleaded guilty in Albury Local Court yesterday to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

As a result, he is now barred from entering the in Dean Street eatery or loitering within 20 metres of the establishment.

Magistrate Tony Murray imposed a further condition preventing Naughton from contacting or approaching the manager.

Mr Murray said thankfully security staff had managed to restrain Naughton.

The court was told Naughton had spent the night drinking beer and spirits at The Bended Elbow in Dean Street before going over to Sweethearts about 3.30am on December 8.

An argument started between him and another man, who was asked by the manager to leave because of his offensive language.

As the other man was leaving, Naughton was shouting profanities at him and was then also told to leave.

He became argumentative and asked the manager what he was going to do about it.

Naughton took a step towards the manager, who put his hand up to create some distance between them.

Almost immediately Naughton began swinging his closed fist at the manager’s face — the first punch was blocked, but two further punches hit him.

The victim pushed Naughton out of the shop to try to stop the assault, calling for security staff to help.

The security staff chased Naughton along Dean Street and restrained him.

Police arrived and arrested and handcuffed Naughton before taking him to the station.

They obtained a statement from the victim, who sustained swelling and a small cut to his forehead along with a deep cut to the bottom lip.

Police took photographs of the injuries and viewed closed circuit footage.

Naughton agreed to be interviewed and claimed he was threatened by the manager, which led to a confrontation.

It was suggested by Naughton that he could not recall who threw the first punch.

He claimed he acted in self-defence.