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'Man didn't start brawl'

Wednesday, 13th March, 2013

A man charged with affray after a large brawl outside a house in Menindee last year had not started the trouble, the Local Court was told yesterday. A man charged with affray after a large brawl outside a house in Menindee last year had not started the trouble, the Local Court was told yesterday.

A man charged with affray after a large brawl outside a house in Menindee last year had not started the trouble, the Local Court was told yesterday.

Mathew David Doyle (28) pleaded guilty to the charge laid after the incident in which an angry, drunken mob of up to 15 people turned up outside his house in Yartla Street in the early hours of August 12.

Mr Doyle's lawyer Paul Walton said that his client had earlier broken up a fight between two women at a party which he had then left but that a mob from the party went to his house and called him out to fight.

"He foolishly went outside, was challenged to a fight and was knocked unconscious," Mr Walton told the court.

According to police, he scrapped with one man but as he was walking away, he was struck over the head with a bottle.

Mr Walton said Mr Doyle was on a bond at the time for a previous offence of affray but otherwise had a limited criminal record and had since cut back on his drinking, which, he said, was a factor in most cases of affray.

His client was also about to leave Menindee to start an apprenticeship in Adelaide, Mr Walton said.

Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy agreed that there were extenuating circumstances and that the police evidence showed that Mr Doyle had not started the fight.

"There was a degree of provocation. They came to your house in the early hours of the morning and threatened you," he told Mr Doyle.

"But ultimately you made the wrong decision and became involved in a very violent incident."

Mr Dunlevy said that he would not resentence Mr Doyle for breaching his bond for the first affray but would instead impose a more severe penalty for the present offence.

He sentenced him to a two-year good behaviour bond and fined him $500.

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