Horse and Jockey Hotel manager Stan Borchard.
Horse and Jockey Hotel manager Stan Borchard. Jonno Colfs

Massive late-night brawl sparks outrage

AN ALL-IN brawl that saw 50 people fight their way from outside the Horse and Jockey Hotel to Leslie Park early on Sunday morning has police and a publican fed-up.

The brawl is the latest in a long list of late-night, alcohol-fuelled and violent incidents in Warwick.

The situation is so serious it could see Warwick night life changed forever.

Horse and Jockey manager Stan Borchard said he had never seen anything like the violence he was seeing in the Rose City.

"I don't know if it's simply a generational thing, but these people have no respect or maturity," he said.

"And that's what it comes down to - a lack of respect.

"They have no respect for the staff, no respect for the premises, and no respect for each other."

Mr Borchard said his staff were vigilant at cutting intoxicated patrons off but that often causes more issues and staff were abused.

"I've seriously considered closing down the late night bar," he said.

"We don't tolerate any violence inside and our bouncers do their best to disperse people at closing time, but some people are just plain idiots.

"I've never seen anything like it.

"I lived in Mt Isa for 14 years which has a strong reputation for being a hard town and never did I see the behaviours I've witnessed here when it comes to alcohol or fighting - here it just seems like it's boredom or stupidity.

"It's pretty disappointing how times have changed when it comes to having a good time with mates."

Warwick police officer-in-charge Jamie Deacon said police had zero tolerance towards drunken violence.

"It's completely unacceptable and reprehensible," he said.

"You ask anyone in town if 50 people milling about around a nightclub fighting at 2am is acceptable, and no one will say it is.

"It's not hard to go out and have a good time without wanting to get into a fight.

"But there are stupid, immature, irrational and irresponsible people out there."

Senior Sergeant Deacon said officers were called to Sunday morning's brawl but were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers.

"My officers were faced with a large and hostile crowd," he said.

"They were yelling and screaming at each other and spot fights were breaking out.

"But in cases like this, with only minimal police on hand, to arrest a person and take them back to the station means leaving everyone else to continue fighting.

"So officers chose to observe and attempt to bring calm to the situation, as well as identifying protagonists.

"We'll be going through CCTV footage very carefully and with police accounts, action will be taken against those who are responsible and where applicable, we will consider banning orders, where the behaviour warrants it."

Snr Sgt Deacon said it was also up to venues to ensure a responsible service of alcohol.

"Sure there are things that is out of (the pubs') control but there are plenty of things they can do to minimise potential trouble."

Jonno Colfs