‘I’ll throw you over the balcony’: Ex-commando denies pool occasion assault however admits risk

November 9, 2023by Naomi Cramer

Former particular forces soldier Heston Russell has denied drunkenly punching a person at an inside Sydney pool occasion, saying he was riled by a derogatory remark about veterans’ suicides, a court has heard.

Mr Russell, 38, on Thursday confronted Sydney’s Downing Centre Native Court the place he’s battling allegations he punched the person throughout a heated incident at a Woolloomooloo premises on January 2 final yr.

Mr Russell, a one-time Senate candidate and veterans’ advocate, has pleaded not responsible to 1 rely of frequent assault.

After attending a yacht occasion on Sydney Harbour, a gaggle of individuals – together with Mr Russell – moved to the Cowper Wharf Street handle for a rooftop pool occasion.

It’s there Mr Russell is alleged to have struck his alleged sufferer and fellow partygoer Steven Pate on the face.

Throughout his proof earlier within the yr, Mr Pate advised the court Mr Russell threatened him by saying: “Do you wish to take me on? I’ll throw you over the balcony’.”

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He additionally mentioned that after asking Mr Russell to go away he was hit “out of nowhere”.

Earlier within the yr Mr Pate advised the court that he was standing poolside with two associates – a pair he had met earlier that day – when Mr Russell got here up behind them and commenced kissing the neck and touching the chest of one of many males, which prompted the altercation.

Digital camera IconHeston Russell (centre) has denied assaulting a person at an inside Sydney pool occasion. NCA NewsWire/ Adam Yip. Credit score: Information Corp Australia

Nonetheless, Mr Russell, throughout his proof on Thursday, advised the court that as he approached the group, he was met with a requirement to “f*** off” and different derogatory feedback.

He mentioned he had earlier kissed one of many males on the boat occasion, in addition to on the pool.

He mentioned he was solely then knowledgeable the person had a boyfriend and was advised “you may’t pressure your self onto folks”.

Mr Russell mentioned the argument turned heated and he was additionally advised: “Nobody offers a f*** about you and your veteran mates killing your self.”

Nonetheless, two males who have been within the group, advised the court on Thursday they denied overhearing that remark.

Mr Russell mentioned that he was concerned in a push-and-shove however at no level did he throw a punch.

“Completely not and we have been that shut you wouldn’t have been capable of throw a punch,” Mr Russell mentioned.

Digital camera IconHeston Russell has denied throwing a punch on the man. NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage. Credit score: Information Corp Australia

Below questioning from his solicitor Michael Bowe, he agreed that he advised the lads: “When you hold coming, I’ll throw you off the balcony.”

However he mentioned that was as a result of a number of males from the opposite group have been advancing on him.

“It wasn’t a dying risk,” Mr Russell mentioned, as he conceded it was the unsuitable factor to say.

He agreed that he had drunk half a bottle of tequila on the day, however denied he was too intoxicated to have a transparent recollection of occasions.

Below cross examination from police prosecutor Alex Borg, he additionally agreed he known as the host of the pool occasion a number of days later, asking him what had occurred.

Mr Russell mentioned that was as a result of he noticed a newspaper story concerning the alleged assault and needed an “goal” model of occasions.

Witness Christopher Hicks on Thursday advised the court that he was within the group of males concerned within the altercation.

Mr Hicks mentioned that after Mr Pate requested Mr Russell to go away, Mr Russell threatened to throw him off a balcony.

“I recall Mr Russell punching Mr Pate within the head with a proper hand,” Mr Hicks advised the court.

Mr Hicks’ accomplice, Nathan Johnston, mentioned he known as two associates over because the argument turned heated.

He mentioned he noticed an arm transfer throughout his face from Mr Russell’s course, however couldn’t verify whether or not it was a punch or not.

“Because it occurred, an arm has are available in entrance of my face throughout me and I turned my head to comply with that,” Mr Johnston mentioned.

“And once I regarded over Stevie was holding someplace on his face. And I believe he mentioned one thing like ‘did you simply hit me?’”

Justice of the Peace Margaret Quinn will ship her judgment at a later date.

Earlier this yr Mr Russell efficiently sued the ABC for defamation and was awarded greater than $400,000 in damages.

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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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