Assault was ‘eye-opener’, security officer tells judge

A Queenstown security officer says seeing footage of a fight he was involved in was an "eye-opener", and the strict bail conditions he has been on for nine months have changed his life, for the better.

Ryan James Fattorini (30) was yesterday fined $1500 and sentenced to nine months’ supervision, with special conditions, by Judge Russell Walker in the Queenstown District Court after admitting assaulting Renae Hapeta using a bottle as a weapon, and disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence, on January 20 in Queenstown.

Judge Walker said Fattorini was moderately intoxicated in a bar in Cow Lane at 1am when he observed security staff there struggling with a group of people as they were trying to remove them.

His lawyer, Bryony Shackell, said Fattorini was in the "wrong place at the wrong time" and intervened in a misguided attempt to "protect colleagues who were outnumbered ... in an unprovoked attack by a drunken violent mob".

However, Judge Walker said CCTV footage from Cow Lane showed Fattorini to be the "predominant aggressor".

The defendant stepped up to a male, "as if in a cage fight", and began throwing multiple punches and trying to kick the other man.

The fight continued until police arrived, at which point Fattorini began to walk, and then ran, away.

"You had countless opportunities to do exactly that before police arrived, but you did not take them.

"In my view you were the predominant aggressor in what was a ... disgraceful incident."

Fattorini told Judge Walker he did not want to be seen as someone like that "or be like that ever again in my life".

"Seeing myself in that CCTV footage, it was something that was definitely an eye-opener for me."

He had been on strict bail for the past nine months and subsequently had not consumed alcohol.

"I feel healthier, fitter, I don’t crave alcohol — I don’t even feel like drinking alcohol anymore.

"It’s enabled me to start a business during the pandemic.

"It’s turned my life around for the better."

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