Couple in Wollongong mall brawl avoid jail

They are the lovebirds you do not want to meet for a night out on the town.

West Wollongong couple Harry Brian Crockett, 22, and Haylee Smith, 21, have narrowly avoided jail after instigating a drunken melee in Crown Street Mall on March 23.

The pair appeared at Port Kembla Local Court on Tuesday to face sentencing for one count each of affray.

"It sounds like they make a lovely couple, just don't run into them in the mall at 3am," Magistrate Michael Stoddart quipped upon hearing the facts of the case.

The court heard the couple were with friends at the western end of the mall about 3.10am when they became involved in a violent melee with a second group.

During the brawl, which continued on and off for more than 15 minutes, Crockett removed his shirt and threw several punches at a man on the ground.

At another point, Smith responded to the other group's aggression by running at a woman from 20 metres away and crash-tackling her to the ground. She was then allegedly punched in the face by a man.

Both Crockett and Smith have since admitted to being intoxicated at the time.

Sentencing Crockett, Magistrate Stoddart was scathing of his actions, saying it could have easily resulted in a death.

"How many times do we see this on the news and somebody ends up dead? This could have been another case," Mr Stoddart said.

"If this is the way you behave when you drink ... then all that will happen is you'll end up in custody."

However he fell short of sending Crockett to jail in this instance, noting he had no prior convictions for violent offences.

Instead he ordered Crockett to perform 200 hours' community service - or face a 12-month prison sentence.

Smith was sentenced by Magistrate Mark Richardson to 150 hours' community service for her role in the fray.

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