Mark Rebelo (left) broke a teenager's eye socket in a 2015 late night assault.
Mark Rebelo (left) broke a teenager's eye socket in a 2015 late night assault. Michaela Harlow

No conviction for nightclub assault

A MAN who broke a Mackay teenager's eye socket in a nightclub will not spend a day behind bars or have a criminal conviction recorded.

In the early hours of Sunday, September 13, 2015 Mark Manuel Rebelo, 22, was drinking at a Mackay nightclub. He was on the dance floor when a heavily intoxicated Joseph Bonanno bumped into him.

The two began pushing each other before Rebelo punched Mr Bonanno in the head. Mr Bonanno, who was celebrating his 19th birthday, fell to the ground and struck his head on the floor.

The punch broke Mr Bonanno's eye socket and he had a minor brain bleed when his head hit the floor.

Rebelo attempted to punch Mr Bonanno again on the ground but missed.

Rebelo pleaded guilty in Brisbane Magistrates Court to assault occasioning bodily harm.

The court heard Mr Bonanno had drunk more than 12 beers as well as vodka and had taken ecstasy pills that day.

Mr Bonanno was rushed to the Mackay Hospital emergency department where he had a seizure. The court heard a medical report could not rule out the drugs having caused the seizure.

Rebelo, who now lives in Ormeau on the Gold Coast, admitted to police he punched Mr Bonanno and later sent the victim a message on Facebook apologising.

Rebelo, a South African citizen, had no criminal history.

Rebelo's defence lawyer Michael McMillan told the court his client may struggle to see his family in South Africa if he had a conviction for a violent crime.

The court heard Mr Bonanno had recovered physically but continued to have psychological scars from the attack. The court heard he has mood swings and trouble with his memory. In a statement Mr Bonanno said he remains nervous around drunk people and quit his job at a bar after the attack.

Mr McMillan said the attack was not "gratuitous violence” and occurred over a very short period of time.

Magistrate Bronwyn Springer sentenced Rebelo to 200 hours community service, two years probation and ordered him to pay Mr Bonanno $2600 in restitutions. No conviction was recorded.