18 January 2022

Patron chased and punched after trying to return membership card at Gungahlin Raiders Club

| Albert McKnight
ACT Law Courts

Silivelio Malo Sione, 31, has been sentenced to jail for several offences. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Looking to return a Raiders Club Card left behind in a poker machine, a good Samaritan was punched in the face, knocked to the ground and had his cigarettes nicked for his troubles.

Silivelio Malo Sione, 31, from Dunlop, waved to the family members who came to support him when he was led away into custody after being sentenced to three months’ jail by the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday (17 January), partly due to the attack.

Court documents show on the night of 6 September 2020, a patron was about to sit down at one of the pokies at the Gungahlin Raiders Club when he saw someone had left their Raiders Club Card in a machine.

The man decided to reunite the card with its owner, so he turned to a group of people nearby and asked if it belonged to them.

But as he held it up, Sione suddenly approached and tried to headbutt the man, although he did miss.

The man tried to leave but was chased around the poker machines by Sione and another person until Sione punched him in the face, knocking him backwards to the ground and opening up a cut on his nose.

As he fell, he dropped a packet of cigarettes which Sione picked up before he left the club.

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Police arrived to find the whole incident captured on closed-circuit television footage. They also collected Sione’s learner driver’s licence, which he had left behind at the front of the club.

Magistrate Glenn Theakston said it was an unprovoked attack and the victim would have been left with some trauma in addition to the cut nose.

The court also heard Sione had caused over $2000 in damage to a police car.

Police had been driving an unmarked car through Holt in June 2021 when they saw Sione stumbling and yelling at another car.

They stopped and he threw a traffic cone at their vehicle, causing a dent on its roof. Magistrate Theakston described his behaviour as “drunken violence without any real provocation”.

Sione pleaded guilty to charges including assault and damaging property.

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Prosecutor Ms Lee said this case would involve his 12th conviction for a charge of assault and accepted that he “obviously has difficulties with alcohol”.

Magistrate Theakston said the father-of-one had worked as a concreter and was on a worksite in 2020 when a floor collapsed and he had to be rescued through the rubble.

He said Sione now has post-traumatic stress disorder, which means he has a heightened response when feeling threatened. He accepted a nexus between the disorder and his offending but said specific deterrence was still needed.

His sentence was backdated to account for time served and he will be released mid-March, just in time to celebrate his 32nd birthday two days later.

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