A man who smashed a beer bottle over the head of Hilltop Hoods musician MC Pressure at a wake in Adelaide has been placed on a good-behaviour bond, escaping an immediate jail term.
Daniel Smith, who goes by the name MC Pressure when performing with the hip hop group, slumped forward in his chair, with his head cut and bleeding, when hit by the bottle in May 2018.
A District Court jury found Christopher Peregi guilty of aggravated causing harm with intent over the incident.
The two men were among about a dozen mourners who had been at an Aberfoyle Park home following a funeral in Strathalbyn.
During the seven-day trial, Mr Smith told the court he was having a conversation with the son of the deceased when Peregi hit him on the head with a glass or a bottle, causing him to pass out.
After some time at the pub, Peregi stood up, took hold of a beer bottle and deliberately smashed it over Mr Smith’s head.
Judge Chapman said the attack came “without any explanation”, though Peregi had argued at his trial that it was an accident, caused when he stood up, felt faint and stumbled.
The judge said that account lacked credibility.
But she said Peregi’s actions were completely out of character and probably the result of the alcohol he had consumed.
He had recently started drinking again after going “cold turkey” and abstaining for some months. While it was unclear how much he had consumed on the day, he had certainly had a number of beers and some shots.
“Alcohol that night was not your friend and hadn’t been for a long time,” Judge Chapman said.
“It might well explain what happened that night but it certainly doesn’t excuse it.”
The judge said her sentence had to send a strong message that alcohol-fuelled violence would not be accepted by the community.
She imposed a four-year jail term with a non-parole period of two years.
But both terms were suspended, with Peregi placed on a three-year, good-behaviour bond.