FRONT YARD BRAWL: A drug debt is believed to be the cause for a front yard brawl, the Gympie Magistrate Court heard today.
FRONT YARD BRAWL: A drug debt is believed to be the cause for a front yard brawl, the Gympie Magistrate Court heard today. Contributed

Drug debt leads to front yard assault

MICHAEL John Stedman didn't know the man he viciously assaulted on the afternoon of October 15 last year.

It turns out, as was explained in Gympie Magistrates Court today, the 34-year-old was actually looking for somebody else.

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After accruing a debt from drug use, Stedman received a text message threatening to set his car alight, prompting him to head to the Gympie property with an accomplice.

The person who had sent the text wasn't there, which didn't stop Stedman from head-butting the man who answered the door after a terse conversation.

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As the victim locked himself in the house, Stedman and his friend continued to wait in the front yard, taunting the man to come out and fight, smashing a window and striking the door repeatedly.

The man did come out, and was struck across the head in the fight, leading to serious lacerations.

"It's things like these that are all too common and frankly, quite pathetic,” Magistrate M Baldwin said to Stedman, who pleaded guilty to counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and wilful damage.

"You're going to need to find a way out of this subculture of drugs and petty crime.”

Mrs Baldwin went on to say that Stedman's early guilty plea was likely the only thing that saved him from a prison term.

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"My job is to send a message to the you and the wider community that this type of behaviour is just appalling,” she said.

"There's no place for this violence and this aggression here.”

Stedman received a four month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, as having to undergo regular drug testing.

Gympie Times


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