A bikie has been jailed for at least nine months for his role in a wild brawl in a Melbourne strip club.
A senior Comanchero bikie who threw the first punch that sparked a wild brawl inside a packed Melbourne strip club has been jailed for at least nine months.
Mark Buddle, 29, started a fight with another man at the Spearmint Rhino club in Melbourne in December 2011 that ended in a brawl involving at least another six men.
One man, who was kicked and punched and who Buddle stomped on during the two-minute melee, lost two teeth, had three fractured teeth and one shattered tooth. Another man had a broken hand.
The Victorian County Court heard that Buddle, who had been drinking heavily, was walking away from a verbal altercation with a man when the man insulted Buddle and his mother.
Judge Rachelle Lewitan said the insult did not condone Buddle’s behaviour.
Buddle’s defence barrister Graham Turnbull SC told an earlier hearing that Buddle was ending his association with the Comancheros.
But Judge Lewitan rejected Mr Turnbull’s call for a wholly-suspended jail term for the “cowardly” incident.
“You precipitated the violence in this case by throwing the first punch in a licensed premises in the early hours of the morning in which both men and women were present,” she said on Friday.
“In the circumstances I have no alternative to imposing a a custodial sentence.”
Judge Lewitan sentenced Buddle to 15 months’ jail with a non-parole period of nine months.
Buddle pleaded guilty to one count of affray, two of assault and one of intentionally causing injury.
The case was delayed while Buddle served a total of 339 days in custody for an assault and affray in NSW and a charge of insulting language committed when he was arrested by Queensland police over the NSW charges.
Judge Lewitan said Buddle had a troubled upbringing including stints in juvenile custody.
He was a representative rugby league player whose promising career was ended by injury.
Buddle had suffered depression and an alcohol and drug dependency that impaired his self-control and fuelled his offending, she said.
With the support of his wife and three-year-old daughter, he had developed a stable domestic situation and had abstained from alcohol, drug and anabolic steroid use.