Show biffo sparked by “tap on shoulder”

A TAP on the shoulder in the "pig pen" at the Boonah rural show ended in a rumble with boozed-up drinkers exchanging blows.

A man was apparently floored when punched by some of the revellers while trying to walk past a crowd of people.

One of the accused men was tradie Dale Patrick Ward, who denied punching the man, saying he merely "shoved him" to try and prevent him from being assaulted by other intoxicated males.

He knew the young man as they had been students at the same school.

Ward, 24, a boiler maker from Middle Park, went before Ipswich Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault at the Boonah Showgrounds on Saturday, June 1 last year.

Prosecutor, Senior Constable Courtney Boss said the incident happened at 11.30pm in the pig pen drinking area of the Boonah Showgrounds when a male tapped Ward on his shoulder to get past him.

She said a man turned around and punched the complainant in the face.

The victim was then punched several times by other males who were not identified in the court.

Snr Const. Boss said the assault was reported to Yamanto police on June 7 and the man named Ward because he remembered him from going to the same school.

Ward was not located until January 6 this year.

Ward said he remembered being there but did not remember hitting the man.

"He says the man was about to get into some trouble with others and he grabbed him by the chest and pushes him away," Snr Const. Boss said.

"Says he did not punch him in the face but others did."

The court heard Ward accepts he grabbed the man by his chest and pushed him away.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said she was a bit confused and questioned whether police accepted the version of facts given by Ward.

The facts agreed upon were that the man was punched by others and that Ward pushed him in the chest.

Defence lawyer Bill Leather said Ward had been away working as a boilermaker in Charters Towers and it was a while before police spoke to him regarding the incident.

Mr Leather said Ward knew the complainant from school and says he pushed him in response to a shove.

He said Ward instructed that the man was having a verbal argument at the time and he pushed him away with the man then "set upon by others, two other combatants".

"It was very low-end of scale. My client concedes the force he used was unnecessary in the circumstances," Mr Leather said.

Mr Leather sought a penalty of a small fine or good behaviour bond, with no conviction recorded.

Ms Sturgess said the evidence was that Ward and the complainant had been heavily intoxicated.

"Really it was a typical recipe for disaster where young men are drinking too much not just you and someone gets hurt," Ms Sturgess said.

Ward was fined $500 with no conviction recorded.