Byron Bay Court House.
Byron Bay Court House.

‘Shameful, disgusting’: Man sentenced for random attacks

A MAN who assaulted a group of people at the Arts Factory in Byron Bay has described his own behaviour as “shameful and disgusting”.

Thomas Grieve, 28, from Airlie Beach in Queensland, had pleaded guilty to two counts each of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault.

Grieve was arrested after a drunken incident during which he assaulted four people shortly after midnight on November 2.

Before he was sentenced, Grieve read to Byron Bay Local Court a letter to the court expressing there were “no words” to compensate “any physical or emotional trauma” he caused and he was “truly and unreservedly sorry” on Monday.

“No on should have to go through an ordeal like that,” Grieve said.

He told the court his behaviour was so appalling it led him to believe his drink might have been spiked.

He said he had always tried to be a good member of the community.

“But I have let the Byron community down, I have let my family down and I have let myself down,” he said.

The court heard Grieve had “no real recollection” of the offending but had agreed to a version of events set out by police.

Defence solicitor Kate Brady told the court her client “does have PTSD and anxiety” from a Queensland incident during which COVID-19 restrictions were breached and he was Tasered by police.

Magistrate Karen Stafford said the events of November 2 were worsened because his offending was repeated.

First, he was “verbally abusive” and “sexist” toward a woman from whom he’d taken tobacco, and struck her in the shoulder four times.

A man who tried to intervene was punched in the eye and when he fell to the ground, Grieve elbowed him twice.

The venue’s night manager got involved and Grieve also struck him to the eye.

Grieve headbutted a third man who tried to assist in controlling him.

She convicted Grieve and for the two more serious assaults, sentenced him to one month prison, dating from the time of his arrest.

He received two year community corrections orders and 100 hours of community service for the common assaults.