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Tattooed fitness guru’s ‘self defence’ punch

YAKIBOY BURWOOD COURTS
Hossein Balapour, the bodybuilding influencer known as Yakiboy is fighting a charge of assault causing grievous bodily harm. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Simon Bullard.

An Instagram-famous bodybuilder reacted in self-defence after he was approached and insulted at a music festival by someone who was drunk and high, a court has been told.

Hossein “Yakiboy” Balapour appeared at Burwood Local Court on Friday where he expected to fight a charge of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm at a hearing.

He is accused of assaulting a man at Sydney Olympic Park in October last year, causing grievous bodily harm and breaking the alleged victim’s jaw.

But the hearing was cut short when his lawyers argued the NSW Police had not fulfilled their duty of full disclosure as CCTV of the alleged incident was not sent to them in full.

WILKINSON COURT
Hossein “Yakiboy” Balapour is fighting a charge of assault causing grievous bodily harm at Burwood Local Court. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Monique Harmer

Dressed in a black suit paired with patent black loafers, the 33-year-old sat in the back of the court as a police prosecutor said both men attended the Knockout Festival on October 1, 2022.

“They didn’t attend together … there was an altercation between the two and the prosecution submits a punch was thrown,” he said.

“Our ultimate case is that punch caused injuries amounting to grievous bodily harm … there’s significant jaw injury which required surgical intervention.”

He said it was not in dispute the pair had an “altercation” but alleged it was a “conscious and voluntary act” by Mr Balapour to punch the alleged victim, telling the court there was “no provocation” and it was “out of the blue”.

But Mr Balapour’s barrister, Tom Hughes, told the court the punch was an act of self defence.

Mr Hughes said the alleged victim attended the festival with friends after smoking marijuana and drinking 350ml of tequila, when he recognised Mr Balapour and approached him.

He said the man was “clearly intoxicated”.

WILKINSON COURT
The fitness influencer was supported by seven men in court on Friday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Monique Harmer

“There was a confrontation and the defendant (Mr Balapour) struck the complainant … it’s a question of reasonable self defence,” Mr Hughes said.

Mr Hughes told the court Mr Balapour had never met or heard of the man, who recognised the fitness influencer from Instagram.

“He was recognised by the complainant who had seen his Instagram posts and then gave some abuse directed at my client,” he said.

He told the court there was a conversation between the men with the alleged victim saying “some unpleasant things” about Mr Balapour.

The court heard both men were from Iran and the alleged victim directed “some insulting conversation towards” Mr Balapour in relation to his opposition to the regime in Iran.

The officer in charge of the investigation, Senior Constable William Lay, was called to give evidence but it was cut short when Mr Hughes objected to CCTV footage of the incident being tendered.

Mr Hughes told the court he had only received two minutes and 40 seconds of footage from police when they actually had 10 hours from the event.

It was later disclosed Senior Constable Lay had received 10 hours of footage from 20 different cameras, meaning he had 200 hours of footage from the festival.

Hossein Balapour, also known as Yakiboy, was arrested after the festival in October 2022. Picture: Instagram
Hossein Balapour, also known as Yakiboy, was arrested after the festival in October 2022. Picture: Instagram

“What was not disclosed is 10 hours of footage where the complainant, who had a broken jaw, was at the concert for five to six hours after the altercation,” Mr Hughes said.

Senior Constable Lay told the court he didn’t serve the entire 200 hours as he had watched about two hours following the incident and deemed it irrelevant

After lengthy argument from both sides, Magistrate Vivian Swain told the court it was clear not all material was served on the defence.

“The prosecution has a duty of full disclosure, it cannot pick what it can serve … it is a matter for defence to have access to everything to determine what is relevant,” Ms Swain said.

“The officer’s opinion about what he thought was relevant isn’t something the court takes into account.”

She decided to adjourn the matter to allow the defence to be served the 200 hours of footage and use it in its case.

Mr Hughes told the court as the reason for the adjournment was not Mr Balapour’s fault, he would be applying for NSW Police to pay costs for the delay.

The magistrate said she would determine costs at the end of the proceedings, with the matter adjourned to July 2024.

Ms Swain relaxed Mr Balapour’s bail conditions, getting rid of the 24 hour curfew so he can leave the house and dropping his seven-day police reporting to just three days a week.