'OUTRAGEOUS': Argument over smokes ends in attack on stepdad
A YOUNG dad has been sentenced to nine months in prison with immediate parole after he violently assaulted his stepfather over a pack of cigarettes.
Joshua William McNeil, 23, came home from a night of drinking with friends when he and his stepdad started arguing in relation to some smokes.
McNeil then punched his stepfather in the head, twice.
After briefly leaving the room, the teenager returned and began threatening self-harm, although Defence lawyer Craig Ryan said his client "never had any intention of acting on anything like that".
"He went out drinking on the night of this offence, had contemplated suicide, had come home, then argued with his (step) father, grabbed a knife ... and threatened to cut himself," he said.
The situation diffused when McNeil left the house, head-butting a fridge door and punching a wall on the way out.
The court heard McNeil had been sober since the incident, treating what had happened as a "wake-up call".
"At the time of this offence he'd just lost two friends," Mr Ryan said.
He added McNeil had since sought counselling help and moved to Gladstone with his girlfriend, where they now own their own cleaning business.
"He's told his mother he wants to apologise to him (his stepdad) when he gets the chance after these proceedings," Mr Ryan said.
McNeil has not been allowed to contact the man since the incident, due to bail conditions, which prohibit contact.
He pleaded guilty to one count each of assault occasioning bodily harm and wilful damage, the maximum prison terms for which are seven and five years respectively.
Calling the teen's behaviour "absolutely outrageous," Magistrate Terry Duroux said "certainly his step father would've felt some measure of disgust with a young man coming home and him threatening to kill himself and then assaulting him when he tried to assist him".
McNeil was sentenced to nine months in prison and released on immediate parole.
If this story raises concerns, please contact DVConnect Womensline on 1800 811 811, DVConnect Mensline on 1800 600 636 or the 1800RESPECT national hotline on 1800 656 463.