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WA festival guard attacker jailed

AAP logoAAP 2/08/2016 By Rebecca Le May

A teenager who kicked a music festival security guard in the head as he struggled on the ground with a fence jumper will spend eight months behind bars.

Martin John Fulton was arrested after video of the incident went viral on social media, showing 56-year-old Michael Rigby being kicked and then collapsing unconscious at the under-18 Good Life festival in Claremont on February 22.

Fulton, who had turned 18 eight days earlier and also did not pay to enter the event, was sentenced in the Perth Magistrates Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm and trespassing.

He also pleaded guilty to a separate stealing offence, admitting he had stolen a carton of Corona beer from a Perth liquor store on April 20.

His defence lawyer told Magistrate Steven Heath that his client was not allowed to attend the event as he was an adult, but wanted to as he had friends aged under 18 who were there.

Fulton had consumed some alcohol before the event, which also "perhaps" played a role, the lawyer said.

Fulton claimed he saw Mr Rigby on top of another festival-goer who had also jumped the fence and had his forearm firmly against the throat of the 15 or 16-year-old boy.

The lawyer said Fulton believed the teen's struggling showed he was in distress and couldn't breathe, prompting the "deplorable and disgraceful" kick, which rendered the security guard momentarily unconscious and left him with bruising.

"This was not simply a senseless attack - it was a response to something," the lawyer said.

"It certainly was impulsive."

Fulton fled but handed himself into police days later.

The lawyer said his client had been subjected to public anger and vitriol, with Facebook posts threatening not only Fulton, but also his mother and disabled sister.

"One might say he deserves it ... it is unfortunate the way some people have chosen to go about it."

He said Fulton accepted full responsibility for his actions, had apologised to his victim on social media on March 2 and the fortnight he'd already spent in jail for breaching a bail condition had proved a wake-up call.

Mr Heath, however, said the offending was very serious and warranted a term of imprisonment.

"It was a cowardly attack," the magistrate said.

"He (Mr Rigby) was focused entirely on dealing with the trespasser."

Fulton was fined $500 for the trespassing and $300 for the theft.

The judge also imposed a two-year prohibited behaviour order that included not attending any festival in WA, excluding street and art festivals, and not playing any role in a social gathering where the number of guests exceeds 100.

The order applies from when Fulton is released.

Outside court, Mr Rigby said he was happy with the sentence.

Mr Rigby's colleague Michael Riley said the jail term and prohibited behaviour order sent a strong message to Fulton and others who attacked bouncers.

"I'd like to think he realises he's going to be restricted," Mr Riley told AAP.

"He's going to have to grow up really, really quickly in a big boy's jail."

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