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    A man with an extensive criminal record has pleaded guilty to assault charges after he smashed a schooner of beer on his victim’s face.

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      assault charges

      Man Who Glassed Victim Facing Jail for Assault Charges

      A man has pleaded guilty to assault charges after he smashed a schooner of beer on his victim’s face.

      Matthew McAlister was alleged to have punched Leo Rivaud in the face at the Glasgow Arms Hotel in Sydney in June 2020.

      The 35-year-old is expected to face jail time due to the severity of the assault as well as his extensive criminal history.

      The case will return to Court later this year for sentencing.

      Assault Charges in Sydney

      Matthew McAlister faces assault charges in Sydney after CCTV footage vision depicted him attacking another patron at the Glasgow Arms Hotel in Ultimo.

      Mr McAlister and Leo Rivaud are seen speaking to each other initially before the interaction escalates, resulting in Mr McAlister swinging a punch the victim.

      Friends of the two men then turn on each other, as the two groups erupt into a pub brawl.   

      The parties were separated and Mr Rivaud left the venue before being followed by Mr McAlister. This leads to a second fight between the pair outside the venue.

      It is here that the 35-year-old smashed a schooner of beer into Mr Rivaud’s face.

      Police were called and McAlister was arrested nearby and charged with assault.

      Assault Lawyers at Downing Centre Local Court

      Matthew McAlister’s assault lawyers appeared at Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday, 23 September 2021.

      They entered a plea of guilty to assault in relation to the attack.

      The Magistrate received his criminal history which listed 68 offences dating back to 2005. The record included serious assaults, including assault occasioning actual bodily harm charges. Some of the assault offences had occurred after he had consumed alcohol.

      It is expected that the 35-year-old will likely receive a sentence of jail for the assault due to his extensive criminal history and the severity of the offending.

      Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm Charges

      Section 59 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) defines Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (AOABH) as intentionally or recklessly causing another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence and Actual Bodily Harm results.

      You can beat an Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm charge in two ways. Firstly, Police must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

      1. You assaulted the victim

      2. That assault caused the victim to suffer ‘actual bodily harm.

      Secondly, there are defences that can be used to have you found ‘not guilty’.

      Actual bodily harm is defined as an injury which was not merely transient. This may include bruising and cuts. It would not extend to a person feeling fear or panic. However, a severe psychological injury may amount to actual bodily harm.

      Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm is a more serious charge than common assault. As such, it is possible to have an Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm charge downgraded to common assault. This will involve your common assault lawyer sending Police ‘representations’.

      Many people who are found guilty of assault charges will receive criminal convictions which can affect a person’s career and ability to travel overseas. That is why it is important to obtain advice from a specialist criminal lawyer who has successfully defended hundreds of these charges. You can read about some recent cases by clicking here. Call Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823. Or, you can email

      The following defences to Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm apply:

      1. Self-defence: You were defending yourself or another person

      2. Accident: You did not intend to commit any assault. You also did not know that an injury could result from your actions.

      3. Causation: The prosecution cannot prove you caused actual bodily harm.

      4. Identification: The prosecution cannot prove that you committed the offence.

      5. Consent: The alleged victim consented to your actions.

      6. Duress: You were forced to commit the assault.

      7. Necessity: Your actions were necessary in the circumstances

      Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm is a type of assault charge which carries a maximum sentence of 5 years jail if your case is heard in the District Court.

      If you are in company with another person when you commit the offence, the maximum penalty becomes 7 years imprisonment.

      In the Local Court, the maximum sentence for a single offence is 2 years imprisonment.

      Looking at 2,187 cases in the Local Court over the last 5 years, that statistics show how difficult it is to avoid a conviction. Less than 10% of sentences resulted in no conviction for Assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The remaining offenders all received convictions and almost 40% of offenders were sentenced to some form of imprisonment. Almost 20% of offenders were sentenced to full-time imprisonment.

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