Matthew James Long leaves court with his solicitor Anna Smith after being fined for assaulting two cleaners. Picture: Laura Pettigrew.
Matthew James Long leaves court with his solicitor Anna Smith after being fined for assaulting two cleaners. Picture: Laura Pettigrew.

'Like a thug': Boxer bashes cleaners over costs

A Coast boxing gym owner "behaved like a thug" when he attacked two cleaners who he thought had duped him.

Noosa Box Office part owner Matthew James Long attacked two men he had hired from Mark's Maintenance Services when they informed him a deep cleaning machine was needed to remove stains on gym mats.

The court heard the first victim was showing Long the stains at 10:20am on July 16 when he was forced to the ground.

"He grabbed the victim from behind at the same time as sweeping his legs from underneath him causing him to fall onto the ground," police prosecutor Alison Johnstone said.

"The victim attempted to stand up, but the defendant hit him in the jaw causing him to fall back to the ground.

"As the victim was on the ground the defendant continued to call him names including dogs and scam artist."

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Sergeant Johnstone said the 32 year old then walked towards the second cleaner and hit him in the head.

"He attempted to cover his head area when the defendant began hitting him in the rib area," she said.

Long yelled at both victims to get out of the gym.

"The defendant picked up the mobile phone and car keys that the victim had dropped during the assault and threw both items out the door onto the concrete ground causing the mobile phone to smash and the car keys to break in two parts," Sgt Johnstone said.

"The defendant then pushed the cleaning equipment over, tipping the water into the engine causing significant damage."

Sgt Johnstone said while a suspended sentence was in range for the "serious" offence she suggested a large fine was also appropriate.

Long was sentenced for recklessly causing injury last year after he was involved in a bar brawl in Melbourne.

The Sunrise Beach resident pleaded guilty in Noosa Magistrates Court on Tuesday to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm, one of common assault and wilful damage.

Solicitor Anna Smith said Long had asked the cleaners to leave the gym after he formed suspicions they were scamming him.

She said he started "manhandling" them out when they refused to leave.

"The complainant started saying they couldn't clean the mats and telling him he needed to pay more money, he felt he was being duped by the complainant," she said.

"He knows he handled the situation very poorly and he is remorseful for that."

Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin disagreed that the chartered accountant and amateur boxer was trying to get the cleaners out.

"I don't accept for a moment that sweeping the feet out from someone and knocking them to the ground when they get up is trying to get them out the door, it's an attack nothing more, nothing less," he said.

Ms Smith said the first victim only suffered minor injuries while the second man was not hurt.

"There is mild swelling and tenderness to the left side of his face and a tender finger that's an injury at the very lowest end of the scale," she said.

"He is an amateur boxer he is very fit and powerful; it is clear he didn't use any significant force when he hit the complainants."

Mr McLaughlin said Long's "outrageous" behaviour could warrant a jail sentence, but agreed a large fine was suitable.

"You are an intelligent, educated person which makes it more difficult to understand about why you behaved like a thug which is what you did on this occasion," he said.

Long was fined $1000 and was ordered to pay $500 in compensation to each of the victims and $1396.25 of restitution for the damaged property.

Convictions were recorded.


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