A teenager has been arrested and charged with a number of assault offences, including affray after a lingerie bar worker was stabbed in Sydney’s CBD.
Poasa Junior Logova, from southwest Sydney allegedly stabbed the 34-year-old employee twice in the back at Concourse Bar.
Scantily clad waitresses were seen fleeing the York Street bar after the incident.
The alleged victim suffered a punctured lung and is recovering.
However, the accused claims that he was defending himself after being struck in the head by a pizza rolling pin.
On the evening of 5 November 2020, a group of young men attended the Concourse Bar inside Wynyard Station.
19-year-old Logova was with 31-year-old Kevin Piggott and three others.
While inside the venue they were approached by the bar manager, 34-year-old Lawrence D’iapico-Bien.
Mr D’iapico-Bien asked the group to stop smoking in the area.
It is here that the version of events differ.
Appearing at Parramatta Local Court, police prosecutor Pamela Hughes told the Court that Logova had sprayed D’iapico-Bien in the eyes and temporarily blinded him.
“He has simply been asked to stop smoking and it has ended up in the defendant going to some effort to stab him twice; leaning over everyone else, going over the top.”
However, Logova’s assault lawyers said that D’iapico-Bien, “retrieved a rolling pin for pizza and started to push the accused and others toward the exit…the victim was swinging around a pizza rolling pin and hit my client in the head… he was not involved in smoking.”
The 34-year-old bar manager was stabbed twice in the back and left with a punctured lung.
Emergency services were called to the lingerie bar at about 6pm after reports a man had been assaulted.
At the scene, two people were treated for multiple injuries before being taken to St Vincent’s Hospital.
Mr D’iapico-Bien was in a critical condition with stab wounds causing him a punctured lung. When ambulance officers began treating him, he told them he was struggling to breathe.
NSW Ambulance Inspector Giles Buchanan said he had suffered two collapsed lungs, which could have been fatal if paramedics hadn’t arrived within minutes.
“The intensive care paramedic on scene managed to decompress and reinflate the lungs, allowing the gentleman to breathe again.”
Detective Acting Superintendent Paul Dunstan said the bat manager was “still not in a good way” but had stabilised on Friday.
A second man was also treated and remains in a stable condition.
Short lived manhunt
Following the incident, Police began a manhunt for all five men. Logova left his ID card in the venue and was able to be identified early on.
Detective Inspector David El-Badawi said that Logova was known to them and they were likely to find him quickly.
“I’ve got several detectives and resources out now looking for him…I ask that he hand himself in but we will be catching up to him very soon.”
The 19-year-old ultimately handed himself into police the next day where he was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, affray and wounding a person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Granted bail for affray
Logova was bail refused by Police and fronted Parramatta Local Court with his criminal defence lawyers before Magistrate Sinclair for a release application.
Magistrate Sinclair accepted that Logova was employed and had strong ties to the community. She granted the bail application and released him.
One of the co-accused, Kevin Piggott, from Padstow, was also charged with common assault and affray.
He appeared at Central Local Court and explained that he didn’t know Logova. The Court accepted that Piggott’s role was less serious than Logova’s.
The 31-year-old was granted bail to report to Revesby Police Station three times per week. He was also banned from entering Concourse Bar and making contact with the co-accused or Mr D’iapico-Bien.
The Magistrate also prevented him from exiting trains at Wynyard train station.
Mr Piggott is employed as a Sydney Harbour Bridge scaffolder. Given his employment in the Sydney CBD, this may cause difficulties.
A 26-year-old man has also been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and will appear at Downing Centre Local Court on November 11.
A 29-year-old man from Narwee was also charged with affray and granted conditional bail to appear in court on November 26.
A 34-year-old from Ridgewood in Western Australia was arrested and issued an infringement notice for offensive language.
Regular patrons of the bar, such as 46-year-old Mark Wroe, told media outlets that they were shocked by the brawl.
“I’ve been here each Friday for years and nothing has happened. Although I don’t think there is a smoking area… not that I’m aware of but there’s been a few people thrown out for that.”
Inspector Kay Armstrong from New South Wales Ambulance described incidents such as this as, “very worrying”.
“There can be more to a stabbing than appears at first glance… While these sorts of wounds may not look substantial on the surface, there can be more significant damage done at a deeper level. Our paramedics did an exceptional job in stabilising and providing treatment for this man who had suffered some pretty serious injuries.”
Where is Concourse Bar?
The bar is in Wynyard train station, at the bottom of the escalators leading to York Street.
The offence of Affray
Section 93C of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) defines Affray as a person using or threatening to use unlawful violence towards another person which causes a person of “reasonable firmness” present at the scene to fear for his or her personal safety.
There are three points the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt for an affray offence:
- you used or threatened to use ‘unlawful violence’ to another person or property; and
- you intended to use, or intended to threaten to use, violence; and
- this would normally cause a person of ‘reasonable firmness’ to fear for their safety.
Further, the following are defences to larceny charges:
- Self defence: In this case you will be arguing that any violence you used was not ‘unlawful’. This defence includes if you were defending another person
- Accident: your actions were accidental. You had no intention of assaulting anyone and you could not have foreseen that your actions would constitute unlawful violence
- Identification: Police cannot identify you as the perpetrator of the Affray
- Duress: That you were forced to commit the offence
- Necessity: your actions were necessary in the circumstances
Affray carries a maximum sentence of 10 years jail if your case is heard in the District Court or 2 years imprisonment in the Local Court.
While it is impossible to predict the exact affray sentence you will receive, the statistics for affray charges show that only 12% of cases received no conviction. The remaining offenders all received convictions and 13% of offenders were sentenced to jail.