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Man narrowly avoids jail after threatening behaviour

Man narrowly avoids jail after threatening behaviour

Monday 12 April 2021

Man narrowly avoids jail after threatening behaviour

A man got into a fight in the North Plantation after taking offence to being called "grandad" by some "gobby" young men.

GH Smit, 45, was at the North Plantation on 22 November 2020 with two friends when he got involved in an altercation with two younger men outside Vlades.

CCTV footage was shown as evidence in court, during which the courtroom saw four separate videos recorded over the course of the incident. The first video showed a verbal altercation followed by Smit pushing another man, while the second video showed an escalation of violence after another man pulled Smit's neck down.


Pictured: Smit entered a guilty plea on 15 March after the incident at the North Plantation.

The third and fourth videos showed Smit falling into Vlades during a melee of violence, in the process of which he knocked over a young woman who appeared physically distressed afterwards.

Neither man involved in the altercation pressed charges, however the young woman inside Vlades did make a statement, and this led to a charge of threatening and abusive behaviour.

He was identified and arrested at the scene. Smit blamed “gobby kids” who called him “grandad” for the reason for escalation.

During his defence, Advocate Liam Roffey said he had never seen so many endearing and positive character references. Smit is a professional cricketer and local business owner who was described as an exceptional individual who felt immense guilt over his actions. 

 Graeme McKerrell

Pictured: “Drink is an explanation and not an excuse – drink caused you to act in the way that you did,” said Judge Graeme McKerrell.

Smit has no previous convictions.

He was sentenced to 140 hours of community service as a direct alternative to three months in prison. Smit was also ordered to compensate the woman affected with £500.

In his sentencing remarks, Judge McKerrell took on board Smit’s previous good character, but his actions were deemed “disproportionate”.

“You could and should have walked away," he told Smit. 

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