A WEALTHY Tasmanian businessman has been fined $3000 after bashing and threatening to kill a prostitute’s minder during an ugly fracas at a Warrnambool hotel.
Nigel Webb, 46, of Fourth Avenue, Dodges Ferry, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court this week to recklessly causing injury, making threats to kill, causing criminal damage and wilful damage.
Besides being convicted and fined $3000, Webb was ordered to pay $400 for damage caused to a mobile telephone and a wall.
Police said in court that at 1.30am on April 13 last year a prostitute, Lilly, and her escort attended the Lady Bay Apartments in South Warrnambool.
After they arrived Lilly and a friend of Webb’s retired to a bedroom while the extremely intoxicated Webb and the minder waited in the kitchen.
The pair started talking and Webb became aggressive, threatening to kill the man.
Webb said: “If you don’t answer me correctly I’ll kill you. I’ve got a gun in my car, I’ll gut you and they’ll never find you. I’ve killed people before. I do it for entertainment.”
After 40 minutes Lilly came out of the bedroom but Webb gave her and the minder another three or four $100 notes to stay another eight hours, saying: “I’ve got her for the night.”
Police said the man then told Webb he would have to check with the brothel boss and Webb again threatened him, saying he had shotguns.
He then threw the man’s phone, smashing it and causing about $200 damage.
Webb then grabbed a black-handled steak knife and Lilly ran out of the apartment.
Webb then grabbed the front of the minder’s shirt with his left hand while holding the knife in his right.
The court heard the man was scared he was going to be stabbed so he grabbed Webb’s hand, causing him to drop the knife.
He had then thrown the victim across the room, straddled the victim’s chest and screamed: “Do you know who I am? I could kill you. Don’t cross me”.
He had punched the victim to the face and stomach and headbutted him before spitting in his left eye.
The victim suffered red marks to his forehead, cheek and stomach.
Webb had then yelled to his friend to get a knife so they could kill the man before punching a hole in the wall.
The friend, who had been asleep, came out of the bedroom and helped get Webb off the victim.
When arrested, Webb told police he was heavily intoxicated and had little memory of the incident.
Defence counsel Michael Croucher, SC, said his client was profoundly embarrassed by what had happened.
Mr Croucher told the court that Webb had invested $3 million in keeping the Beaconsfield mine operating following the collapse of the mine which attracted worldwide attention.