Truckies in road rage incident point fingers at each other

TWO men have pointed a finger at each other as the instigator of a road rage incident in Sarina.

Kenneth John Beattie, 49, had pleaded guilty in the Sarina Magistrates Court to assault occasioning bodily harm.

But Beattie said he punched the other man only because he had grabbed his shirt and wouldn't let go.

Magistrate Damien Dwyer called on Beattie, who is a professional truck driver, to show cause why his licence shouldn't be disqualified.

Both men were travelling on the Bruce Hwy on October 12 this year. Beattie was driving behind the other man, who was also a truck driver, prosecutor Sheena Hayes said.

The court heard Beattie believed the other man had cut him off. Over the two-way radio the other man heard, "you (expletive) idiot... you knew you were going to turn in". Believing there had been some kind of collision, the other man pulled his truck over to inspect if there was any damage to the rear. He was driving to the Sarina sugar mill.

Beattie had also pulled over, and approached the man and punched him between his right eye and ear, Ms Hayes said. He then grabbed the other man and the pair fell over, with Beattie on top. He punched the other man a number of times, and drove his right knee into the other man's ribs as he was getting up.

Ms Hayes was seeking $264 restitution for medical costs.

Beattie told police the other man had approached him and grabbed his shirt first, and he had told him to let it go or he would hit him (the other man).

Mr Dwyer said there was a big difference between "gratuitous violence" and the other man's grabbing Beattie by the shirt first. The matter was adjourned for a disputed fact hearing.

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