Man, 53, guilty of assault cops $500 fine, has to pay compo

A DISPUTE between neighbours which erupted into violence has resulted in a conviction for serious assault for a 53-year-old man.

John Victor Thomas was fined for the offence, which took place in Howard on October 5 last year.

The court heard Thomas and his 69-year-old neighbour, Russell Weston Miller, had a prickly relationship which escalated on the date in question.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Nicole Kunkel said Thomas made a comment as Miller walked past on the street.

Miller responded, at which point Thomas got up and chased him, knocking him over in Miller's own yard.

Thomas repeatedly kicked Miller in his side, and then when Miller tried to protect his body, Thomas punched him in the head, Snr Const Kunkel said.

Thomas' solicitor John Milburn said his client only kicked Miller twice, not "repeatedly".

He said both men fell to the ground in Miller's yard, rather than Thomas knocking the older man over.

Mr Milburn went to some lengths to show Miller was a "particularly hot-tempered gentleman".

He tendered to the court a report from the Chronicle dated July 10, 2012, detailing Miller's own appearance in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court where he was charged with common assault and obstructing police.

"I remember the case," said Magistrate Graeme Tatnell.

Thomas also suffered from mental health issues, Mr Milburn said.

The court heard Thomas and his wife were planning to move soon and Mr Tatnell said he hoped they could get along with their next neighbours better.

Thomas was fined $500 and ordered to pay an extra $250 in compensation to Miller.



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