Racial taunt no excuse

RACIAL slurs that sent a Hervey Bay man into a violent rage were no excuse for his behaviour, the Hervey Bay District Court has heard.

Gavin George Summers, 45, had a long history of violence including an event in 2000 when he carried out a “prolonged and protracted” attack on his ex-wife involving a hammer and strangulation.

Last week his partner and one-year-old child watched on as Summers was convicted of assault occasioning bodily arm and enter premises.

The charges stemmed from an argument over a lawn mower between Summers' partner and her brother.

The brother had borrowed the lawn mower but when he brought it back his sister accused him of breaking the blades.

In response the brother allegedly said “you and your black b**** can go to hell”.

The brother claimed that when he went home that night Summers phoned him and said “you don't know who you are dealing with you white p***”.

A couple of days later Summers went to his brother-in-law's house and the pair got into an argument.

Neighbours heard the complainant call the defendant the “n word” on several occasions.

Crown Prosecutor Maita Aylward said Summers slapped and threatened the complainant before he was locked out.

He then went away for a short time and returned, broke through the front door, grabbed a pole, threw the complainant down on his bed and struck him three to four times.

Defence barrister Kylie Gillard argued that the racial slurs fuelled Summers' anger.

She said the use of the “n word” and like words were inappropriate in this day and age and that the community should express outrage at those kind of comments being made.

But Judge Leanne Clare said there was no excuse for Summers' behaviour.

“Your reaction to what was said was grossly disproportionate,” Judge Clare said.

“It does appear you continue to pose some risk to people who seriously upset you.”

He was sentenced to 18 months jail but will be eligible for parole in December.



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