Landlord bashed tenants

THREE men who invaded a Gympie home in 2008 and forcefully removed a family from the property have been sentenced in Gympie District Court to probation and community service.

Crown prosecution did not proceed against two other men involved in the home invasion and reduced the charges against Timothy Luke Jones, 28, Daryl Lyndon Watson, 46, and Leigh Watson, 21, after they pleaded guilty mid-trial last week.

The court heard the owner of the property (Jones) had been trying to evict the tenants because they had not paid rent for some time.

It was believed Jones and a group of men (thought to be as many as 20) met at another house on a night in June, 2008, before they went to the rental property and demanded the occupants get out. They bashed down the back door and smashed windows to get in and dragged the tenants from the house.

Two of the residents were hospitalised and five men were charged with burglary and assault occasioning bodily harm whilst armed and in company. These charges were dropped against two of them and reduced against the remaining defendants who had pleaded not guilty to the original charges, which meant the matter went to trial.

Ten minutes into the cross-examination of the main witness, defence agreed to the lesser charges and Jones, of Musgrave Street, Gympie, pleaded guilty to common assault and was ordered to complete 80 hours of a community service.

Leigh Watson, of Deans Road, Gympie, was ordered to do 120 hours of community service after he pleaded guilty to unlawful assault occasioning bodily harm whilst in company.

Daryl Watson, also of Deans Road, was placed on probation for two years and ordered to do 240 hours of community service for two charges: unlawful assault occasioning bodily harm whilst in company and assault occasioning bodily harm.

No convictions were recorded.

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