'Is it strippers?' Husband banned after jumping on club stage
A GLADSTONE magistrate had members of the public in fits of giggles at the back of the courtroom during the sentencing of a Gladstone man who was accompanied by his wife in court.
William Graham McNeill pleaded guilty in the Gladstone Magistrates Court to four charges including commit public nuisance within a licences premises, fail to leave a licensed premises, being drunk and disorderly and for having to be removed from the premises.
Police prosecutor Gavin Reece began to read out the facts of the offending, part of which stated that McNeill had jumped onto the 'entertainment stage' at the Boardroom Bar on Central Ln.
Magistrate Melanie Ho cut in and said: "What is on that stage that Gladstone men like to jump up on it for? Is it strippers or something?"
It scored a laugh from onlookers at the back of the courtroom, but also McNeill and his wife, seeing light of situation.
A member of the gallery told Ms Ho that there was a 'stripper's pole' and women were often dancing on the stage.
Mr Reece continued reading the facts and said after McNeill jumped on the stage the first time he was told by staff to get down.
A club manager told McNeill to settle down, however, this only fuelled a fire under the 25-year-old.
McNeill threw a punch at the man before his friends and wife pulled him off the stage to calm him down.
But he jumped back up and began to throw more punches at the manager. McNeill was forcibly removed from the club, where he then tried to fight the security guard.
When a bystander outside the club tried to break the pair up, McNeill tried to fight him too.
The police arrived and McNeill was arrested. Defence lawyer Rio Ramos said on the night of offending her client was celebrating his birthday.
She said her client and his wife had a child together and it was rare they could go out and celebrate.
"It is clear he went over the top with his drinking," Ms Ramos said. "But my client has not been out partying since and has grown up a lot since the offending.
"With respect to climbing on stage, he only put one leg up each time to dance, but he became agitated when a staff member started to antagonise him."
Ms Ho said it was clear McNeill did not mix well with alcohol given he had a history of like offending.
She placed McNeill on a banning order for six months, and a term of probation subject to alcohol counselling.
She also imposed a $600 fine and recorded a conviction. McNeill's wife laughed when Ms Ho turned to her and said only she would be allowed visit the club for the next six months.