Former cage fighter battered two men

A former cage fighter nicknamed ''The Animal'' has been convicted of assaulting two men he claimed were having sex with his former girlfriend.

Mixed martial artist Jason Patrick Smith (33), of Queenstown, pleaded guilty in the Queenstown District Court yesterday to two charges of assault with intent to injure.

Smith, of Fernhill, Queenstown, was convicted by Judge Christina Cook and remanded on bail for sentencing on June 30.

Prosecuting Sergeant Ian Collin said Smith had attacked the two men at the Frankton Motor Camp on March 23 He had returned home at about 9.30pm and heard his then girlfriend's voice in the neighbouring caravan with the men.

Sgt Collin said Smith told police he ''heard his girlfriend screaming for help from a nearby caravan and as he looked through the window he observed his girlfriend engaged in some activity with both of the victims''.

Smith burst into the caravan and approached one victim who was sitting on the bed and punched him to the head and body, Sgt Collin said.

''The victim curled into a ball and used his arms to protect his head while the defendant continued to punch him 10 or 12 times forcibly to any exposed part of his body,'' Sgt Collin said.

When the other man attempted to intervene, he punched him to the head and knocked him out cold.

Smith then left the caravan but returned moments later and continued to rain blows down on both men.

The man who had tried to intervene had three upper teeth knocked out, and one tooth chipped, and suffered bruising and swollen ears.

The other had multiple bruising and swelling to the body, bruising to his temple, right ear and both forearms and has soreness around the chest and stomach.

He also had a painful ear and is waiting for medical treatment, to see if he has any serious injury.

The victims maintained they were drinking wine and watching DVDs together with the defendant's girlfriend.

Solicitor Mike Newel, representing Smith, said: ''He thought his girlfriend was being raped and that's the reason he got involved and assaulted these men.''