An ex-soldier has appeared in court for causing grievous harm to a man after he got involved in a fight at a casino. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A former soldier has appeared in an Australian court nearly two years after he intervened in a casino fight. Shane Raymond Bretag was trying to stop a fight between ‘two idiots’ at a Brisbane casino when he used excessive force, hitting a man so badly he needed reconstructive surgery after suffering major facial fractures. The Afghan warrior was dealing with PTSD and hypervigilance at the time.
He elbowed the man in the face, causing him to lose consciousness
CCTV footage showed what happened during the January 2021 incident at the Treasury Casino. Bretag eventually elbows a man in the face, rendering him unconscious and suffering severe injuries.
Try to stop fighting
A friend of the ex-soldier and one other person participated in the initial fighting. The duo had previously had two clashes that night; Brittag broke them up on both occasions. The third and final incident occurred half an hour after the previous one. Security footage showed the two men throwing punches at each other on an escalator before they began wrestling near some gaming consoles.
Treasury Casino is the only casino in Brisbane and is owned by Star Entertainment Group. It will become Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Casino Resort next year after significant renovations are completed.
Bretag again attempted to separate the pair when the brother of the other male approached. Britaj hit him in the face with his elbow before continuing to try to stop the fight. Realizing that the man he hit was not moving, Bretag put him into the recovery position. He then left the facility as soon as casino security approached the scene.
A psychiatric report was filed at Brisbane County Court, outlining the struggles Bretag was dealing with after returning from combat. Addressing Brittag, Judge Ian Dearden said: “It was that disproportionate use of force in a hypervigilant response to a perceived threat…that puts you in the dock today.”
He was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for 30 months
britag He pleaded guilty to a charge of grievous bodily harm. He was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for 30 months. He also has to pay A$10,000 (US$6,765) in compensation to the victim.
The victim claims to have accumulated more than A$70,000 (US$47,357) in lost wages due to the accident. The judge acknowledged that Brittag tried to help the victim and then realized the state he was in. The judge also took aim at the two brawling men, stating that they acted like “complete and utter idiots”.