Retiree punched for breaking pokies 'etiquette’
A MAN who blew $800 on a poker machine became so angry when a retiree jumped on the same machine that he punched him in the face.
But a magistrate labelled David Anthony Capewell's excuse as "frankly, bizarre'' before convicting him of common assault.
Capewell, a former construction industry labour hire worker, appeared in Holland Park Magistrates Court on crutches to face one charge of common assault of a person over 60.
Prosecutor Sgt David Low said the incident happened about 9pm on August 22 last year at the Mt Gravatt Hotel.
"The defendant approached the victim, Rodney Hutton, and started an argument before punching the victim in the face and leaving,'' Sgt Low said.
The attack was captured on the hotel's CCTV system.
Sgt Low told the court that when police confronted Capewell at his home he told them he had lost $800 on a poker machine but then observed Mr Hutton using the same machine.
"He said (Hutton) was trying to win his (Capewell's) money back and that people at the hotel do it all the time,'' Sgt Low told the court.
"He said it was not ethical to make profit out of someone else's losses.''
Capewell's lawyer, C. Shannon-Deere, said her client was acting from anger at his gambling losses and the attack was out of character.
"He's accepting of his behaviour and wrongdoing, made admissions and co-operated with police,'' Ms Shannon-Deere said.
"He has not been before the courts since 2008 and has voluntarily not returned to the hotel since.''
She said Capewell had lost his job after undergoing a knee reconstruction and was now on Newstart.
Magistrate Simon Young told Capewell his actions were "completely unjustified''.
"The explanation given to police is, frankly, bizarre,'' Mr Young said.
"There was absolutely no reason for you to behave the way you did.''
However, he took into account Capewell's early plea and lack of recent criminal history.
He imposed a $500 fine and recorded a conviction.
Mr Young also banned Capewell from the hotel for six months, but said the ban would have been longer if Capewell had not already stayed away from it.
Originally published as 'Bizarre': Retiree punched in pokies stoush