Scottish backpacker knocks out bouncer

Herald Sun

Padraic Murphy

A BEANPOLE Scottish backpacker who knocked-out cold a burly bouncer has escaped conviction after a magistrate accepted he had been brutally and unnecessarily evicted from a nightclub.

Harry Brown, 23, was at Lonsdale Street’s Wah Wah Lounge nightclub on May 22 when was set upon by a group of aggressive bouncers — including the victim — and thrown out, receiving several shirt punches to the head.

A drunk Brown returned to the club several minutes later and decked the bouncer with one punch, leaving the him lying prone with a fractured eye socket.

Harry Brown outside court. Picture: Eugene Hyland

Brown, whose working holiday visa expires today, begged Magistrate Luisa Bazzani to allow him to return home without conviction so he can pursue a career with the Scottish police, for which he volunteers.

Defence lawyer George Balot said Brown was deeply ashamed and had written a letter of apology.

“He engaged in one punch he will regret for the rest of his life ... He’s a person who always wants to give to the community ... He cannot understand, he cannot rationalise that he has behaved in the way that he has,” Mr Balot said.

Ms Bazzani this morning said one punch assaults needed to be denounced, but that it was not in the community’s interest to prevent Brown from pursuing a policing career, fining him $5000 without conviction.

“He was set upon by security guards including the victim,” Ms Bazzani said.

“He was forcibly evicted. He was doing nothing ... (His eviction) was brutish and unnecessarily aggressive.”

Ms Bazzani gave him a month to pay the heavy fine.

“The possible implications of one hit punches is well documented. One punch can kill,” Ms Bazzani.

Brown pleaded guilty to recklessly causing injury and failing to leave a licensed premises.

He has been in Australia for about a year, working as a concierge at a Marriott hotel.

Should Scottish Police reject his employment application, Brown hopes to study criminology