13 April 2022

'Every mother's worst nightmare': magistrate's warning after strip club assault

| Albert McKnight

Lachlan Davis, 21, has been sentenced for assaulting a man outside Wanderlust in 2021. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A young man unleashed drunken violence on a patron of a Canberra strip club, including kicking at his head then dragging him to the ground and kicking him in the back.

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker told 21-year-old Lachlan Davis the case showed “classic alcohol-fuelled offending the court and community sees every week”.

“It’s every mother’s nightmare that their young man might go out and be on the receiving end of a kick like the one you directed,” she said in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday (12 April).

After celebrating at an end-of-year work Christmas dinner on 18 December 2021, Davis went out to Wanderlust in Mitchell where, Chief Magistrate Walker said, “someone was being annoying because they were drunk”.

Stephanie Beckedahl, of Hugo Law Group, representing Davis, said a man was pushing and shoving while he was at the bar, then Davis got into an argument with a second man. These two men were asked by security to leave, but Davis and two others followed them outside.

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Closed-circuit television footage screened to the court showed Davis swinging his foot high towards one of the men’s heads, but not connecting.

The groups began arguing and Davis’ co-defendant allegedly punched the other man in the head, knocking him to the ground unconscious.

Davis grabbed his victim, the same man he had just tried to kick, and dragged him to the ground then kicked him in the back when he was down, before grabbing his co-defendant’s shoulders and pulling him back.

Ms Beckedahl said it was a reckless decision in the heat of the moment that was fuelled by alcohol, but after the incident he started addressing his alcohol use.

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Davis, who works full-time as a leading hand and lives with his parents in Higgins, pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault and Chief Magistrate Walker said it was a serious example of the charges, even though his first kick to the victim’s head hadn’t connected.

She convicted and sentenced him to a 12-month good behaviour order as well as fined him $1500.

The Riotact has not identified Davis’ co-accused as it was unclear where his case was up to.

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