Bundaberg Court House
Bundaberg Court House Brian Cassidy

Workplace attack leaves teeth fractured, chipped

A SIXTY-TWO year old man has been fined $1500 after fracturing the teeth of a work colleague in an on-site fight.

Trevor John Barr faced Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday pleading guilty to one charge of assault occasioning bodily harm after an ongoing feud lead him to breaking point.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Tina Bland said the altercation began when the victim "butted in" to Barr.

"The defendant has grabbed the victim's upper left arm and proceeded to throw repeated punches to the top of his head, right side of his face and jaw approximately four to five times," Sen Const Bland said.

The victim managed to turn around and push Barr off balance into a swale drain.

"The victim stated, 'you stupid old c--t,' and the defendant has come back at him throwing another punch to the victim's face," Sen Const Bland said.

A work colleague was able to separate the pair, but another altercation broke out and Barr stuck the victim again.

A dental report found the victim had three teeth with fractures and two had chipped.

Defence lawyer Ryen Dwyer said his client had not once appeared before the court in his 62 years, saying the actions were out of character for the father-of-three whose wife of 39 years was supporting him from the gallery.

Mr Dwyer said his client had worked in the coal industry some 30 years without incident and had resigned from his position following the altercation.

"Essentially it came about following seven months of bullying behaviour by the complainant, not only to Mr Barr but also to other junior managers out at the mine," he said.

After months of work interference, Mr Dwyer said belittling behaviour teamed with derogatory comments pushed Barr over the edge.

The court heard while working as a plant operator, Barr would prepare drag lines of which the complainant would rip up his work and make it difficult to redo.

Mr Dwyer said his client was remorseful for his actions, resigned from his position, and has since gained employment at another mine.

"He had tried to resign before this incident due to the behaviour that was going on however his supervisor talked him out of it," Mr Dwyer said.

"...the supervisors were aware of what was going on..."

Magistrate Gary Finger said he understood the act was out of character, with letters of reference describing Barr as having a "natural passive behaviour".

"This fella must have really pushed your buttons, but it's more the man that walks away than does what you did," Mr Finger said.

"At the end of day you're here and he's not."

Barr was fined $1500 and no conviction recorded.