Neighbourly dispute leads to biting and drawing blood
A LONG-running neighbourhood dispute turned violent, as two elderly men scrapped with each other in the early hours of the morning, a Nanango court heard.
It was 5.30am in the morning on January 24, when the two elderly neighbours encountered each other on their street in Benarkin North.
Nanango Magistrate Court heard there had been ongoing arguments between the pair, and on that morning, another broke out.
But this time, it led to violence.
Retiree Kenneth Walter Hart, 71, threw a punch and a scuffle began between the two septuagenarians.
During the struggle, the victim had pinned Hart's arm with his leg, leading Hart to bite the victim's chest, drawing blood.
The pair have then walked away from each other.
Hart was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm and appeared in court last Thursday where he pleaded guilty to the incident.
The elderly man attended court with a walking stick, and struggled to stand during the proceedings, with the magistrate eventually excusing him from standing during sentencing.
Duty lawyer Jay Rose told the court the dispute was "long standing" and involved several of the neighbours in the crescent.
"A week before this there was an ongoing incident around (the victim) allegedly tipping over neighbourhood bins," Ms Rose said.
She told the court Hart had bitten the victim to free himself from being pinned.
Magistrate Andrew Sinclair noted Hart had no criminal history at all when he appeared before the court.
"I know all that I think I need to know about you from the fact that you've reached 71 without having a conviction recorded," Magistrate Sinclair said.
He described the incident as a neighbourhood dispute which "got out of control".
But the magistrate was lenient in sentencing, taking into account Hart's spotless record and his age.
"For someone like yourself having to come to court and deal with this in itself is a punishment," he said.
"I note, and I don't mean any disrespect, but from your physical appearance today that like many 71-year-olds, you are unlikely to do damage to somebody else."
He was released on a $500, three-month good behaviour bond, with no conviction recorded.