A Queensland dad, praised by some for choking a teenage boy he claims was bullying his stepdaughter, regrets the attack and has warned other parents not to follow in his footsteps.
Mark David Bladen pleaded guilty in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm for attacking and choking a 14-year-old boy at a Brisbane skate park on March 3.
He was fined $1000 with no conviction recorded.
His wife Jennifer spoke up following the attack to say the boy had been bullying his daughter for months to the point she was scared to go to school,
“Kids are committing suicide because of this and it’s not on. So we are now as a family standing up to them,” she told the Daily Mail Australia after his arrest.
Bladen’s actions were applauded by some online, with many saying they’d react similarly.
“Lil prick deserved it think 99% of parents would do the same thing I no (sic) I would,” one person wrote on Facebook.
“Good on stepdad, the 14-year-old boy had it coming either way,” wrote another.
But outside court on Tuesday, Bladen was repentant and urged other parents not to follow his example.
“I’m very sorry for what I did, very regretful and ashamed,” Bladen told reporters.
“Please don’t do what I did, I just lost control, it’s definitely not the way to handle things.”
The court heard Bladen confronted the boy before grabbing him around the throat and holding him on the ground, causing him to begin to lose consciousness.
The fight was eventually broken up by the victim’s friends, one of whom recorded the incident on their mobile phone.
The boy suffered bruising to his throat and scratches to his limbs.
Bladen later told police he just “snapped” and the court heard the firefighter had an exemplary history, including a commendation for his work in Rockhampton in February 2015 following Cyclone Marcia.