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The Cairns Post
Julie Lightfoot ©The Cairns Post
Thursday, June 19, 2008
An enraged father went on the warpath with a stake, mattock and then a cane knife after his son was attacked by the neighbour’s dog.
Innisfail man Troy Hurford, 35, stormed into his neighbour’s yard and grabbed a stake from a pot plant before swapping it for a mattock which he brandished in front of a frightened man in his 60s.
Mr Hurford pleaded guilty in Innisfail District Court yesterday to serious assault and going armed so as to cause fear.
The court heard he snapped after the dog bit his four-year-old son.
“The child was attacked on his own property,” defence counsel Rod Curtin said.
“My client lost all benefit of reason.”
Hurford dropped the mattock but returned home to grab a cane knife, the court was told.
“You rattled it (cane knife) against the fence on the other side of the road and throughout the entire episode made threats to the (neighbour’s) dog,” Judge David Andrews told Hurford during his sentencing.
“This was a man who had recently progressed from a wheelchair to a stick, and who was about 65 years old.
“Your purpose was to cause fear to him, and you did.”
Hurford will serve a 12-month probation order and 200 hours of community service.
Judge Andrews said he had taken into consideration that the father-of-three had young children, his son had been bitten in his own yard and he was suffering depression and on medication at the time of the incident.
But he said Hurford had a history of behaving rashly and his “misbehaviour” at the next door neighbour’s had “lasted far too long”.
“Your rage is understandable, it’s your actions afterwards…,” he said.
“This needs to be a deterrent to others who might think of intimidating the elderly or taking grievances into their own hands instead of going to police,” he said.