When Heath Kelly was bashed by a special constable in Sydney more than a year ago, he says he was shocked someone would attack a “midget”.
Fadi Chafei, 40, was found guilty on Wednesday by Magistrate Harriet Grahame of assault occasioning in actual bodily harm against Mr Kelly in November 2012 in Surry Hills.
He was also found guilty of intimidating bystander Matthew Harper who stopped Chafei from leaving the scene by making a citizen’s arrest.
In handing down her decision at Downing Centre Local Court, Ms Grahame criticised Chafei’s claims he was acting in self-defence.
“Mr Kelly describes himself as a midget,” she told the court.
“When I observed him giving evidence, he looked younger than his 30 years and he was childlike.”
Ms Grahame said she believed Mr Kelly’s statement to the court that “no one expects a fully grown man to come up to a midget and smash the f*** out of him”.
“I found his (Mr Kelly’s) evidence lacking in guile or artifice,” she said.
A special constable is not a sworn police officer but a person involved in law enforcement for a agencies such as local councils.
Chafei’s defence team had argued that the special constable had punched Mr Kelly because he was one of a group of six who had been intimidating their client.
But Ms Grahame said this was inconsistent with CCTV footage and that his evidence was “at best” exaggerated.
The court was told that Mr Harper heard Chafei say to Mr Kelly “shut your f***ing mouth” before punching him.
Mr Kelly then fell, striking his head on the pavement.
Mr Harper told the court that after the attack, Chafei had said to an unconscious Mr Kelly “you just learnt your lesson” before he turned to him and sneered, “do you want to have a go c***”.
Two nearby security guards stopped the 40-year-old from getting into a taxi and helped Mr Harper make a citizen’s arrest.
Ms Grahame will sentence Chafei on May 20.