Four mates were celebrating a big win on the pokies when their night quickly went downhill.
Four mates were celebrating a big win on the pokies when their night quickly went downhill.

Mates celebrate $9000 pokie win, but end up in pub brawl

IT HAD been a good night for Tia Niuelua and three of his workmates.

They were out at the pub, celebrating after one of them won $9000 on the pokies.

But just before 1am, things quickly went downhill and it all stemmed from them chatting to two women at the Port Macquarie Hotel on October 2 last year.

A group of local men started fighting with one of Niuelua's mates and he went to help him.

The 31-year-old watched as his friend was punched to the ground and kicked in the head.

Niuelua, of Springfield Lakes, was also punched in the face, but his attacker's fist did not fully connect.

He grabbed his attacker's shirt and the two hit each other.

During the brawl, Niuelua picked up a bar stool and swung it at the local man's head, but he was able to block it with his arm and elbow.

Security broke up the fight and Niuelua and the man he was fighting shook hands and calmed down.

All four men who took part in the brawl were charged.

In Tweed Heads Local Court on July 29, Niuelua pleaded guilty to one count of affray.

Solicitor Phillip Crick tendered references on behalf of his client and said Niuelua accepted the bar stool was excessive in terms of defending himself from the punches.

Mr Crick said Niuelua had expressed disappointment in his actions, immediately apologised on the night and was a low risk of reoffending.

Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy said the incident would have been potentially dangerous and frightening for other patrons at the pub.

He took into account Niuelua's early plea, remorse, taking responsibility for his actions and character reference to accept this behaviour was out of character.

Niuelua was convicted and given a two-year community corrections order.