A Mackay District Court on Thursday sentenced a 28-year-old former security guard to two years in prison with immediate parole for breaking the jaw of a man, who had hurled homophobic slurs at him. Judge Julie Dick also ordered Jesse Alexander George Street to pay $5,000 to the victim.
Trigger Warning: This story has details of homophobic language and violence, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.
Street had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm over the incident dating back to February 25, 2021.
Homophobic Slurs Hurled
Street, a security guard was partying at a night club with his friends at Airlie Beach on his day off. Airlie Beach is a coastal town in the Whitsunday Region of Queensland in Australia.
Street had worn a glow stick through his ear. A man yelled out homophobic slurs at Street from across the room, calling him a “poofter” and “fa#%ot”. Street later encountered the same man after he left the club on Main Street. The two got into a brawl and Street punched the man before their friends separated them.
As Street was walking away, the man again yelled back at him. Street then turned around and punched the man in the face sending him sprawling to the ground.
The Courier Mail quoted prosecutor Samantha O’Rourke, who said that the victim had “suffered fractures and swelling to the jaw needing surgery to have plates and screws inserted.” The prosecutor added that if left untreated, the man could have suffered “significant deformity and malocclusion leading to an impaired ability to speak or even swallow.”
Street Lost His Mother Four Weeks Before Incident
According to The Courier Mail, Street’s lawyer said that as a security guard he had a reputation for diffusing tense situations and the incident was out of character for him.
The lawyer also informed the court that Street had lost his mother just four weeks prior to the incident, which might have left him in a vulnerable state of mind.
Judge Dick said Street should have handled the situation in a better way. Street offered to pay $5,000 to the victim to cover his medical costs. Judge Dick reportedly said he “could not buy his way out of court”, but noted that this possibly showed remorse for his actions.
The court convicted Street and sentenced him to two years in prison, with immediate parole. Street’s lawyer said that his client was presently working as a kitchen hand and could have his security guard license revoked as a result of the case.
If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.
For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.