Coldplay sparks naked rapture

AMY REMEIKIS
Last updated 10:09 20/12/2012
Robert John Kiunisala
Amy Remeikis

OVERWHELMED: Robert John Kiunisala leaves Brisbane Magistrates Court.

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Blame it on a rush of blood to the head, but there was just something about seeing Coldplay perform which left one Brisbane fan overwhelmed - and naked.

Robert John Kiunisala faced a Brisbane Magistrates Court this week charged with unlawful assault, obstructing police, public nuisance, failure to leave a licensed premises and obstructing a licensee, after being taken to Paradise by the British supergroup.

The 34-year-old was one of 50,000 fans enjoying Coldplay's performance at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on November 21 when he became overcome by emotion and struck with the need to remove his clothes.

Defence solicitor Michael McMillan said his client was not drunk at the time and was at a loss to explain his actions.

"The intoxicant was his extreme feeling for the group," Mr McMillan said.

"It triggered in him some primal response."

That primal response was to strip down to his underwear sometime during the set list, then, when he saw the security guards had noticed, he dropped his underwear, exposed his buttocks to the crowd and ran.

When the security guards tried to detain him, Kiunisala bit one of the men's hands "for up to a minute", drawing blood before police officers managed to detach him.

The security guard's health checks had come back clear, the court heard.

McMillan said his client "came to the realisation 'I'm naked in front of thousands of people'" and had only wanted to flee.

In sentencing Kiunisala to two years' probation, Magistrate Liz Hall said she took into account his early guilty plea, clear criminal history since 2005 and a letter from his girlfriend which called the behaviour "unbelievable and bizarre".

Labelling his behaviour "out of character", Magistrate Hall said she accepted that Kiunisala had only had a few drinks at home before the concert and was not drunk, but advised him to seek help.

"Clearly you need to obtain some knowledge of why you would behave in such a fashion...where a person is seriously assaulted by you and hurt," she said.

Kiunisala was ordered to pay the security guard $800 in compensation and escaped a conviction being recorded.

A well-dressed Kiunisala was silent as he left court and would not say which songs had sent him into a naked rapture.

-Brisbane Times

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