The manager of the Black Stallion Hotel at Rocherlea has had assault charges dismissed after a Supreme Court Justice found injuries to a man's head might not have been the result of a strike from a cricket bat.
Darrell Robert Clayton was charged with two counts of common assault in relation to the incident on the night of May 19, 2017, but these were dismissed by a magistrate two months later.
The Director of Public Prosecutions then appealed the decision in the Supreme Court.
The court heard Clayton spotted a man urinating on the nature strip in front of the Black Stallion close to closing time, and he was cut off from buying more drinks. The man and another said they were going to leave anyway.
Shortly afterwards, they joined a third man behind the pub to smoke a joint of cannabis when Clayton appeared carrying a cricket bat.
Clayton struck both men to the legs and was alleged to have struck one to the head before returning to the pub. The men claimed Clayton was the aggressor, while Clayton claimed the three men had approached him and he acted in self-defence.
"Well they was (sic) three pretty big fellas walking at me, yeah, pretty intimidating," Clayton told the court.
There were inconsistencies with the evidence given by the two men about the number of times they were struck with the bat, who was present at the time and the sequence of events.
One of the men was bleeding to the head, and went to hospital four hours later with swelling to the face and deep grazes on the head and right jaw.
Magistrate Ken Stanton found medical evidence had not proven the injuries were the result of a cricket bat, and could have occurred from falling on the road while walking.
Mr Stanton agreed that Clayton had struck the men to the legs, but it could have been because the men were approaching him.
In his ruling on Tuesday, Justice Michael Brett said without definitive proof that the head injury was from a strike from a cricket bat, the charges must be dismissed.
"Apart from the photographs and the records, there was no medical evidence presented by the prosecution which described the injuries or expressed an opinion concerning their causation," he said.
"Ultimately, it was incumbent on the magistrate to assess the credibility and reliability of the evidence of these witnesses."