Former firey suffering from PTSD stabs Childers man
A FORMER firefighter suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder has been sentenced to a suspended term of imprisonment after he stabbed a man at Childers.
David Raymond Denton, 69, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawfully wounding another in Bundaberg District Court yesterday.
Denton, who was 68 at the time of the 2017 offence, developed stress disorders after working more than four decades as a first responder.
During his time as a firefigher, he received two Australian Fire Service Medals.
Defence barrister Andrew Hoare said his client had counselled other firefighters throughout his career but received little himself, resulting in depression.
He said Denton was treated by psychologists for depression, after which he was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by a psychiatrist.
Mr Hoare said this condition gave his client "heightened adrenaline", particularly in high-stress situations.
The barrister attributed this symptom as the underlying cause of the stabbing.
Crown prosecutor Stephanie Gallagher told the court on June 10, 2017, Denton became aggressive, walked over to the male victim and stabbed him outside a club at Childers.
The court was told the weapon behind the resulting 2cm wound was a small knife which Denton had carried with him for at least 20 years.
Mr Hoare argued Denton's aggressive reaction and approach of the victim may have been triggered by the victim, who he said was swearing at Denton.
However, Mr Hoare and MsGallagher agreed that whether there was a verbal trigger or not - which could not be proved - Denton was the main aggressor.
Ms Gallagher said despite the injury being "quite low level", the victim suffered emotionally and still had nightmares.
She said the wound did not require sutures.
Mr Hoare said his client had shown immediate remorse after the incident and knew he had done "a stupid thing".
Judge Michael Rackemann said Denton's actions were serious but acknowledged his limited and dated criminal history.
He sentenced him to 18months in prison, wholly suspended for three years.