The 20-year old man who kicked a festival staff member in the head, fracturing his skull in the process, has been found not guilty of unlawfully causing grievous bodily harm, The West Australian reports.
Jamie David Foster struck the Wonderland Festival site manager Aaron Gill in the face outside the 2015 festival grounds as he knelt on his hands and knees, but argued he feared for his safety and had “no other option”.
Having broken into the festival earlier in the day and been ejected by security, Mr. Foster was standing outside the festival grounds near a group who were tearing the site’s fencing down, attempting to break in.
When Mr. Gill confronted the group, he was felled by a punch, before receiving the kick from Mr. Foster that left him requiring three metal plates and 37 screws in his skull.
Despite admitting to delivering the kick, Mr. Foster argued that Mr. Gill was acting “over-the-top aggressive” towards the group of fence jumpers, and his defence lawyer Philip Urquhart told the court that Mr Gill threw the first punch in the altercation after Mr Foster urged him to calm down, and called him a derogatory name.
Mr. Foster denied taking an eight metre run up, as described by a witness, or using his full force in the kick. He also denied aiming the kick at Mr. Gill’s head, instead claiming he was intending to “kick his arm out”.
Despite this, the kick was forceful enough to fracture Mr. Gill’s forehead, eye socket and nose, and he described hearing a “massive crack” when the kick connected.
“The moment of impact there was a crack and then everything went white and I couldn’t see or hear anything,” he said. “There was a tremendous amount of blood coming from my face.”
“At the time I felt I had no other option…” Mr. Foster told the court. “I wish the outcome was different but at the time I feared for my safety.”
Mr Foster told the court that he was assaulted by a group of security staff following the incident, requiring him to go to hospital upon leaving police custody.
For his part, Mr. Gill admitted to pushing one of the group and throwing a single punch, although he couldn’t be sure whether it had connected with anyone.