Original article no longer available
By Jade Bilowol
July 02, 2007 06:47pm,
Article from: AAP
Maurice James Pike, 54, of Closeburn in Brisbane’s north, today pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court to three counts of assault causing bodily harm and one count each of assault causing bodily harm while armed, wilful damage and common assault.
Judge Gary Forno imposed a sentence of 18 months but ordered Pike be eligible for release on parole on October 2 this year.
“You engaged in an out-of-control attack which was sustained for a very lengthy period of time,” Judge Forno said.
Prosecutor Michael Lehane told the court Pike had been in a five-year on-and-off relationship with Margie Sopinski, 43, which had deteriorated in the lead-up to the attack on May 14 last year.
Mr Lehane said Pike saw dentist Peter Ewing driving with Ms Sopinski on a Cedar Creek road in Brisbane’s north.
Pike did a U-turn and sped on the wrong side of the road to catch up with the pair, before running into the driver’s side of Dr Ewing’s car.
When Dr Ewing pulled up, Pike emerged from his car armed with a green metal pipe.
He smashed Dr Ewing’s windscreen and struck the driver’s side window, yelling, “I’m going to kill you”.
“The driver’s side shattered … with glass raining in on the two complainants in the car,” Mr Lehane said.
Pike swung at Dr Ewing with the pipe, hitting his right forearm, before passers-by managed to wrest the pipe from his grasp.
Mr Lehane said Pike then opened the door and punched Dr Ewing with a closed fist before trying to strangle him, shouting, “die, you prick”.
As Ms Sopinski pleaded for Pike to stop, the victim thought he was going to die, the court was told.
When she called triple-0 for emergency help, Pike turned his fury on her, punching her five times with a closed fist.
After Dr Ewing got out of the car, Pike punched him in the head, causing him to fall to the road, where he continued to punch him and kick him in the head.
Others intervened and dragged Pike off Dr Ewing. But he managed to struggle free and kicked Ms Sopinski in the lower back before eventually driving off in his car.
The two complainants were taken to hospital with injuries including bruising and, in Dr Ewing’s case, a chipped tooth.
“It’s a fact of life relationships end unhappily for at least one of the parties,” Mr Lehane said.
“(Pike had a) clearly excessively violent manner.”
The court heard the damage bill for the car totalled $6000.
Defence lawyer Andrew Hoare told the court Pike’s actions were “out of character” and that his client had been taking anti-depressants, suffering from alcoholism and not coping with immense pressures in his nursery business due to the drought.
He said his client had confronted Dr Ewing with his suspicions that the pair were conducting a sexual relationship the day before the attack.