Gympie District Court House, Channon Street, Gympie. August 11, 2015.Photo Patrick Woods / Gympie Times
Gympie District Court House, Channon Street, Gympie. August 11, 2015.Photo Patrick Woods / Gympie Times Patrick Woods

Cricketing feud leads to bloody bar assault

BAD blood between local cricketers is believed to be the cause of a vicious late-night bashing at a well known bar in the Gympie CBD last year.

The Gympie District Court was yesterday expecting to hear the trial of Brett Michael Sorrell, who faced one charge of assault occasioning bodily harm.

Sorrell then changed his plea to guilty, but challenged some aspects of the prosecution's version of events.

During cross-examination, key witness Joseph Laffey said he saw Sorrell strike Glyn Brook at Billy's Bar early on the morning of February 14, 2016.

"The two of them were talking and at one point Glyn turned his head back to the bar," Mr Laffey said.

"That's when Brett struck him, and I think the punch struck him on the ear or on the temple."

The blow prompted Mr Brook to turn his head to see what had hit him, at which point he was punched directly in the face by Sorrell, the court heard.

Knocked out, he slumped from his stool and violently smacked his skull against the floor of the bar.

Mr Laffey said he then tried to separate the two men and check on the condition of Mr Brook, but the brutal assault continued.

"At that point, (Sorrell) had come around and then stomped on him (Mr Brook) - twice," he said.

"The first stomp was a very hard connection directly to Glyn's face, the second I believe only grazed him because I had gotten in between them."

Mr Laffey also suggested there may have been an attempt at a third strike - a swinging kick to Mr Brook's head.

The assault left Mr Brook in a serious condition, with witnesses describing his face as swollen to two or three times its normal size.

His injuries included fractures to his nose, upper jaw, eye-socket and forehead, as well as a considerable gash to the forehead and numbness to parts of the face.

During cross- examination, Mr Brook said his recollection of the night and much of the events of the previous day had essentially been lost.

Mr Brook agreed there had been bad blood between he and some members of the Sorrell family.

"In the past, I've had some reservations about the way they play cricket, but I wouldn't say I hate them," Mr Brook said.

"I certainly don't like them, but I don't hate anybody."

Mr Laffey denied that Sorrell was reacting to either verbal provocation or even a punch from Mr Brook.

"I didn't see Glyn punch anybody; in the time it took I honestly don't think he could have," he said.

"I thought we were all just enjoying each other's company."

The court proceedings ended with the last of the prosecution's witnesses.

Sorrell will take to the witness box this morning, and it is expected he will be sentenced later in the day.

Gympie Times

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