Wollongong traffic fight ends in court

A Wollongong man allegedly instigated a violent attack against the unsuspecting passengers of a car sitting idle in front of him, punching a woman before he kicked and bit one of the men in the vehicle, a court has heard.

Joshua Leigh Dudley Dendulk is accused of viciously assaulting the pair in the New Year’s Eve incident, leaning into the car while it was waiting to turn to punch a female passenger before he repeatedly assaulted a man.

But defence barrister Jane Healey told Wollongong Local Court yesterday  her 31-year-old client had a different version of events, claiming the male passenger had violently assaulted him, leaving Dendulk with a serious eye injury. 

Police claim Dendulk was in a car with two other people, who cannot be named, on December 31 last year.

The vehicle, allegedly driven by a female co-accused, was heading east along Station Street in North Wollongong when it stopped behind another car, which had its right indicator on and was waiting for a gap in the traffic.

After about a minute, the woman allegedly started yelling and swearing at the car’s occupants, prompting one of its male passengers to stick his finger up at Dendulk.

Police claim Dendulk then climbed out and ran to the other vehicle, leant in the back window and punched the female passenger in the face.

The co-accused then allegedly ran to the car, kicking the vehicle, while Dendulk continued to punch the woman.

It is alleged Dendulk then started throwing punches at one of the male passengers, who got out of the car and retaliated, as the co-accused reached into the car and pulled out the woman, dragging her across the road and kicking her. Police claim Dendulk continued to assault the male passenger, forcing him to the ground and choking him in a headlock.

Dendulk then allegedly bit the man’s finger, prompting the man to force his thumb into Dendulk’s eye. The female co-accused then started kicking the man while Dendulk held him on the ground, the court heard.

Police soon arrived, witnessing the tail end of the assault, before they arrested Dendulk and the female co-accused.

Dendulk yesterday pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one charge of affray.

Opposing Dendulk's bid for bail, prosecutor Sergeant Pavlin described the assault as a "serious, unprovoked, violent attack".

She told the court the prosecution had a strong case, noting there were several independent witnesses to the incident.

But Ms Healey said evidence from other witnesses was completely contradictory to the alleged victim's account and Dendulk intended to fight the charges.

She told the court Dendulk was still having difficulty seeing out of his eye, receiving daily treatment in jail for the injury.

Ms Healey said her client would report to police, abide by a curfew and had a good support network.

Magistrate Susan McGowan granted strict conditional bail and adjourned the matter to February 25.

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