Todd not guilty in Uki riot
A STRANGLED shout of relief burst from Johnas Todd as a Lismore District Court jury yesterday gave him his life back.
It’s been the better part of two-and-a-half years since Mr Todd, 26, of Uki, became the focal point of an explosion of violence at Uki’s Mount Warning Hotel, which ended with the pub’s then-owner, Alex Georgopoulos, suffering serious cuts and life-long scars allegedly after a tussle with the young man.
For most of that time Mr Todd has had serious charges hanging over him. He was accused of attacking Mr Georgopoulos with a broken bottle, smashing a window at the pub and with affray over the riot that surrounded the attack.
Yesterday, at the end of a five-day trial, a jury found Mr Todd not guilty of attacking Mr Georgopoulos with the bottle, and the prosecutors dropped the other two charges, which would have been heard in the Local Court.
“I’m just glad it’s over,” a relieved Mr Todd, surrounded by family and friends, said outside the court. “I’m sorry that it ever happened.”
However, after the long court case, he said he would be less quick to jump in to help people suffering apparent injustices.
After yesterday’s verdict, Mr Todd, who works at a caravan park he part-owns with his father at Coomera, on the Gold Coast’s northern fringe, said he was ready to get his life “back on track”.
He said he felt no responsibility for the violence that night at the Uki pub.
“I didn’t think I’d done anything wrong,” he said outside the court. “I was just doing the right thing.”
However, he also express-ed sympathy for Mr Georgopoulos and his wife, Angela, who sold the pub a few months after the riot.
“I feel sorry for them,” he said. “I’m glad it’s over for them and I’m glad his kids didn’t lose their father.”
Mr and Mrs Georgopoulos were not present for yesterday’s verdict.