A 19-year-old man involved in a violent, midnight brawl in Keira Street last June has walked free from court after being placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond.
Paul Bell faced a sentence of up to two years’ jail in Wollongong Local Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to a single charge of affray stemming from the June 13 incident, which left a man with a fractured skull.
However, Magistrate Michael Stoddart declined to impose a full-time jail sentence after finding Bell’s actions in the brawl had been at the lower end of the scale.
Three other men involved – George Campbell, 19, Jarod Sainsbury, 19, and Christopher Morgan, 22 – have already been sentenced for their roles in the crime.
Each man was handed a suspended prison sentence and ordered to perform varying amounts of community service.
The court heard the group was out celebrating a mate’s 18th birthday on busy Keira Street when Campbell, Sainsbury and Morgan began to brawl with another group of men outside 151 Nightclub.
That fight quickly dissipated, however another one involving different victims started nearby just minutes later.
Bell joined in this fight by punching the male victim.
At one stage, one of the group hits the man in the face, causing him to fall unconscious to the pavement.
He was later taken to hospital but avoided major injury, the court heard.
In sentencing Bell on Thursday, Magistrate Michael Stoddart said the brawl had been a “very cowardly act” but accepted that Bell did not instigate it.