'Cowardly' father, son leave men hurt in wild pub fight
A FATHER who jumped into a pub fight to "protect" his son said he was disgusted with himself after the pair bashed and injured two men after an engagement party.
The Maroochydore District Court heard how Justin Lee Stephenson, 46, intervened when a fight broke out between his son and friends, and a group of men at Parklands Tavern last year.
Jayden Lee Stephenson, 23, was captured on CCTV on March 17 last year punching and kicking a man on the ground after his own engagement party with a group of his friends.
The footage played in the courtroom showed Jayden punch and attempt to kick a man in the head as he was trying to get up.
The 15-second clip, which started when the fight had already began, also showed his father punch a man before both were shuffled away from the large group.
Crown prosecutor Aleksandra Nikolic said the "unprovoked" behaviour was spurred on by the victims telling Jayden to be quiet as he was ushering people into a taxi and using "colourful" language.
The court heard the victims suffered some bruising and swelling in the fight, and now suffered anxiety.
Barrister Geoffery Barr admitted the men were fuelled by alcohol and the victims did not "abuse or threaten" the men in a way to ensue a fight.
The men were supported in court by Jayden's fiance, who were due to be married next year.
"Jayden harbours a significant degree of guilt that he has produced a situation that his dad now finds himself before this court," Mr Barr said.
Mr Barr highlighted the "low-end" injuries sustained in the drunken brawl, saying their behaviour was "out of character" and not premeditated.
Judge Glen Cash said although it was unclear who initiated the fight, their behaviour was "cowardly".
"With drunk men there is always an increasing spiral of violence as they're too stupid to not get involved," he said.
"You're quite fortunate the injuries consisted of swelling and bruising... could have been very much worse."
Judge Cash conceded the pair had learned their lesson and Jayden thanked him when saying they wouldn't be heading to jail.
Jayden was sentenced to 12 months' jail, wholly suspended for two years.
Justin was sentenced to nine months' jail, suspended for 18 months.
Convictions were recorded.