Irish teen fined for Queensland nightclub vent incident

Backpacker freed from vent after getting stuck while trying to sneak into nightclub

The court fined McMahon AU$900 (€636) and also ordered him to pay $1,700 for damages to the club’s roof and a non-essential call out of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service. Photograph: Getty Images

The court fined McMahon AU$900 (€636) and also ordered him to pay $1,700 for damages to the club’s roof and a non-essential call out of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service. Photograph: Getty Images

 

An Irish backpacker who tried to sneak into a Queensland nightclub, after twice being thrown out of it, became stuck in an air vent in the early hours of this morning.

Hugh McMahon (18) was rescued by fire officers after he getting stuck in the roof cavity of the Sin City nightclub in Surfers Paradise just before 1am local time (3pm Monday, Irish time).

He broke into the roof space through a sliding door - damaging the door’s lock - and then got tangled up in wires and stuck among pipes and internal struts in the cavity.

Emergency crews were called to the club at 1.30am after McMahon was heard screaming for help.

It took around two hours to safely remove him, while a crowd gathered on the street below to watch.

The case was fast tracked and McMahon appeared at Southport Magistrates Court today, where he pleaded guilty to four charges including trespassing, wilful damage and two counts of being refused entry into a licensed premises.

Prior to his attempt to sneak in, McMahon had already been removed from the club twice, the court heard.

Security guards initially threw him out after finding him asleep on a couch.

McMahon managed to get back into the club some time later, but security caught him on the dance floor and again ejected him.

The court fined McMahon AU$900 (€636) and also ordered him to pay $1,700 for damages to the club’s roof and a non-essential call out of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.

“Drunk or sober it is a remarkably stupid thing you’ve done,” Magistrate Ron Kilner told the teenager.

“You only have yourself to blame.”

McMahon is in Australia on a one-year working holiday visa and has been living and working in Sydney.

No conviction was recorded, which means he will be able to see out the time remaining on his visa if he wishes.

McMahon has been given three months to pay the fine and damage bill.