Cleared Queenstown bouncer says I’m no big bad wolf’

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Infamous Queenstown bouncer Jonathan Dixon says his acquittal on two assault charges vindicates him and clears his “tarnished” name.

“For 18 months I have had the stigma of [being] New Zealand’s big bad wolf, been under curfew at nights for nine months, lost 19 of the 20 companies I worked for as a website developer, all because one police officer jumped the gun.

“This is vindication,” he said at Invercargill District Court yesterday moments after a jury had acquitted him.

Dixon, 42, was charged with two offences after an incident in Queenstown nightclub Subculture on January 21 last year.

The more serious charge of grevious bodily harm with reckless disregard came after Queenstown’s then-Dux de Lux bar manager Jordan Sinke ended up with a fractured skull requiring brain surgery from hitting his head on the concrete floor of the bar at about 2.30am.

Dixon also faced a charge of assault against Sinke’s mate Thomas Ian Beatson.

Dixon, at Subculture not in his capacity as a bouncer, denied the charges and a trial began in the Invercargill District Court on Wednesday before Judge Kevin Phillips and a jury of eight women and four men.

On the first day of the trial Mr Dixon fired his lawyer and represented himself.

In her closing arguments yesterday, Crown lawyer Mary-Jane Thomas said the Crown could not tell the jury how Sinke came to fall on the floor, but the circumstances around it “pointed to Dixon causing the fall”.

Sinke couldn’t remember what happened that night, and other witnesses saw Sinke lying on the floor and Dixon standing beside him or over him, she said.

In his evidence, Dixon told how an intoxicated Sinke verbally abused him, threw a punch which landed on his chest and tried to knee him in the groin. Dixon said he restrained him by holding his arms at his side and standing on his foot, but let him go and had turned away before Sinke fell to the floor.

Dixon said he shoved Beatson away with a palm to his jaw because he was concerned Beatson was trying to lift the unconscious Sinke off the floor and Dixon felt Sinke
should remain on the floor until medical help arrived.

In his closing address, Dixon said there was “no actual proof” he did anything to Sinke.

“There have been a multitude of witnesses. No-one saw me do anything untoward to Sinke beforehand or afterwards. They only saw me assisting Sinke, not hurting him.”

After the verdict, Dixon said the charges had tarnished his name and the reputation of all bouncers.

“Every time a bouncer is arrested on a charge, our reputation is tarnished. Every time there is a not guilty verdict it’s one back for us.”

Dixon is still awaiting sentencing on an unrelated matter.

In April he was found guilty by an Invercargill jury of accessing a computer system and dishonestly obtaining property he had no right to. That charge arose after he uploaded to YouTube CCTV footage of England rugby player Mike Tindall cavorting with an old girlfriend in Queenstown bar Altitude weeks after Tindall’s marriage to royal Zara Phillips.

It ignited a Rugby World Cup scandal after Dixon posted the footage, spliced with clips of himself admonishing Tindall for his behaviour and telling him to “be loyal to the royal”.

Dixon was to be sentenced on that charge in June but sentencing was delayed pending the outcome of this week’s trial. – Otago Daily Times