News

Mum and son jailed for machete attack

Senior constable Chad Doak. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times
Senior constable Chad Doak. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times Renee Pilcher

A MOTHER and son who took to their neighbours with a machete were jailed yesterday afternoon.

Anne Katerina Heijermans, 51, and Christopher Robert Larpent, 28, faced Gympie District Court together, each charged with the grievous bodily harm of two men outside Heijermans' Oak St home on November 29, 2012.

The pair had intended to contest the charges until early last week when they changed their pleas, sparing the court a trial expected to last five days.

Yesterday Judge Brendan Butler, SC, heard how Heijermans and Larpent slashed two men with what he described as a "large, very dangerous and sharp looking instrument" causing injuries "ghastly to behold".

The pair was called from Brisbane to Heijermans' home by another of her three sons, Johnathan Michael Heijermans, who she cared for after he was disabled by a childhood brain injury.

The court heard Johnathan, another woman and a 12-year-old girl at the home were unnerved the night of November 29 by a group from the neighbouring home.

The court heard tension between the Heijermans and their neighbours had been long-standing and had been mounting in recent weeks.Larpent, who lived in Brisbane, arrived at Oak St first and was greeted by an empty street until a man walked out of the concerning neighbours' home.

The court heard Larpent felt threatened by the unarmed stranger and took to him with a machete he had in his car for a camping trip, hacking the victim's arm to the bone.

Shortly after, Heijermans arrived to a bloody fight between Larpent and two men as they wrestled on the street for the machete. Heijermans tried to force one of the men off her son but the man began punching her in the face, smashing her glasses in the process.

The injured Heijermans then got hold of the machete and swung it into the man's arm as he raised it in defence, leaving a deep and bloody wound to his arm.

Assaults continued until police arrived, but the court heard the use of the machete by both Larpent and Heijermans on unarmed men was excessive.

"(You were in) a difficult situation but used grossly excessive force," Justice Butler told Heijermans, while telling Larpent "there was no reason why you needed to attack (the victim)".

After initially both lying to police about their involvement into the attacks, Heijermans and Larpent were both jailed yesterday.

Justice Butler said Heijermans, an aged care worker, had lesser involvement than her son Larpent, and sentenced her to three years' jail, suspended after nine months.

Larpent was sentenced to five years' jail and will be eligible for parole after two

Gympie Times

Topics:  court crime gympie jail



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