Jury finds rigger not guilty of boss’s assault
A GLADSTONE jury took less than two hours to find Turkey Beach rigger Matthew Jermanus not guilty of assaulting his former boss at a Christmas party.
In a two-day trial heard before Judge Nicholas Samios, the Crown had accused Mr Jermanus of punching Leonard Potter on December 8, 2013, at a Christmas party in New Auckland, held for staff of JB Scaffolding and Rigging.
Judge Samios immediately discharged Mr Jermanus and the jury after the verdict.
Earlier yesterday a final witness, company supervisor Wayne Livermore, said he had been in the swimming pool that night when he heard "a ruckus" and saw scaffolder Anthony "Tony" Copperwaite reeling backwards.
"I saw Lenny (Mr Potter) in between Tony and Matt. That erupted a bit and Matt punched Lenny," he said.
"Lenny and Matt had words; Matt hit him in the face."
Mr Livermore said he ran over and alleged he too was punched in the face "by Matt".
However, he agreed that he did not see what took place moments earlier between the three men.
In their final summaries, the Crown maintained the blows by Mr Jermanus had been excessive.
But defence barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said significant factual matters were disputed.
He asked why Mr Jermanus, as a new employee, would want to attack his boss.