Fruit boss jailed for luring and bashing ‘creepy’ customer
Fruity Life owner Kurt Drummond has been jailed after luring a "creepy" mobile mechanic to a carpark and bashing him.
Maroochydore Magistrates Court heard the 42-year-old businessman had been drinking at Alexandra Headland Surf Club with his mates on January 23 when the mechanic came up in conversation.
Drummond believed the man had acted inappropriately towards his staff when visiting the Fruity Life stores.
He then called the mechanic pretending he required help for a broken down car in order to lure him to a nearby carpark, a plan unbeknown to his friends.
Brendan Wayne Pothecary, 38, was among the men in the carpark with Drummond when the mechanic arrived.
Police prosecutor Amanda Brewer said Drummond attacked the mechanic, punching his legs as he tried to pull him from his car.
The court heard he was simultaneously accusing the man of "touching" a woman who worked at his store.
He then used his elbow to smash the windscreen of the mechanic's car before Pothecary reached into the car and punched the man in the face.
The victim suffered a 25mm cut under his right eye, bruising to his face, abrasions to his knee and a sore sternum.
A victim impact statement was tendered to the court saying he now grew very stressed whenever he received a call-out from a person he didn't know.
Senior Constable Brewer argued Drummond should serve a third of a 15 to 18-month prison sentence while Pothecary should serve a third of a 12 to 14-month prison sentence.
Drummond and Pothecary each pleaded guilty to one charge of assault occasioning bodily harm while in company.
Drummond also pleaded guilty to unlawful entry of a vehicle to commit an indictable offence, and wilful damage.
They had no criminal history.
Drummond sought counselling for anger management issues and conflict resolution after he was charged.
Character references were tendered to the court under the hand of Black Chook Media co-founder Troy Deighton, a chiropractor, and Peter Stevens from radio station Zinc 96.1.
They spoke highly of Drummond and the philanthropic work he carried out, with Mr Deighton describing him as a well-respected business owner who was caring and thoughtful.
The court heard Drummond had heard several complaints from his staff about the mechanic but an affidavit from only one was tendered to the court.
"Which indicates that while (the mechanic) stood close to her and compromised her personal space, to use her words, she says he never touched her inappropriately," magistrate Matthew McLaughlin said.
"Whether you were given other information by staff which I'm not told or you simply manufactured that extra information to make it seem more serious, we'll never know.
"My point is there was absolutely no evidence this man had touched anybody inappropriately."
Defence lawyer Chelsea Emery said Pothecary, through his own business dealings, also perceived the mechanic to act inappropriately towards women.
Mr McLaughlin said he wouldn't put the mechanic's behaviour higher than being "creepy", going off the sole affidavit he had been given.
Ms Emery said Pothecary was a married father-of-two who regretted his actions.
She said he suffered severe depression and anxiety which he had sought treatment for prior to the attack on the mechanic, and he hadn't slept well since.
She said serving actual jail time would be "financially crippling" for the fly-in fly-out miner.
Mr McLaughlin described the assaults as appalling and cowardly.
He considered Drummond's actions were premeditated saying he "set the trap" with the misleading phone call.
Drummond was sentenced to nine months in jail with release on parole after serving three months.
A conviction was recorded for his assault charge only.
Mr McLaughlin accepted Pothecary was unaware the mechanic had been lured to Alexandra Headland and his behaviour was spontaneous.
Pothecary was sentenced to nine months in jail with immediate release on parole and ordered to pay $750 in compensation.
A conviction was recorded.