Qld man not guilty of one-punch assault

Sarah Motherwell

A man has been acquitted over the one-punch assault of a brawler at a taxi rank in Brisbane's inner-city nightlife district in 2015.

John Faleta suffered bleeding on the brain and a fractured skull from being struck in the head by Richard Scott Atutolu in the early hours of September 26, 2015.

Mr Atutolu's trial in the Brisbane District Court heard the self-confessed violent Mr Faleta had been thrown out of a Fortitude Valley nightclub earlier in the evening for brawling.

Barrister Andrew Hoare argued Mr Atutolu acted in self-defence when Mr Faleta behaved aggressively towards him and showed no signs of backing down.

"(Mr Faleta) entered a fighting stance," Mr Hoare said.

"My client doesn't have to wait to be struck first by the aggressor.

"He can strike before being struck, he's entitled to do that, that is self-defence."

Mr Atutolu's family wept with relief as he was found not guilty on Wednesday of causing grievous bodily harm.

It took the jury just half a day to reach its verdict after a brief three-day trial.

"The shortest moment of human experience can lead to sometimes very convoluted consequences," Judge Brian Devereaux said at the conclusion of the case.

The trial had heard that Atutolu immediately told police that Faleta "knows he and his mates started it".

"I'm not a trouble-maker but these guys think they've got bigger chests, they can rule," he said.

"He can't walk around in the club acting like you own the s***. Once in a while there are going to be boys who can handle themselves. We are them boys."