Quashed appeal allows family to move on from bomb blast

EVEN buttering bread remains a difficult task for an Ipswich teen who was maimed when a golf ball bomb exploded in his hands.

But his mother Rebecca Boggan said a quashed appeal for one of the men responsible for the home-made explosive had ended the worst three years of her life.

Glenn Charles Dell tried to argue in the Queensland Court of Appeal that a jury verdict convicting him of causing grievous bodily harm to Leichhardt resident Michael Boggan, then 15, was unreasonable.

But in a judgment handed down on Friday, the court dismissed his appeal against conviction and sentence.

"Essentially the case against (Dell) was that he alone, or with his co-accused (Mark) Tear, had inserted explosive powder into a golf ball and left it on an Ipswich street, where it was found by two youths," the judgment read.

"One of them later showed it to a friend, Michael Boggan, who lost most of his fingers and parts of his hands when it exploded while he was playing with it."

Mrs Boggan said she was thankful the court process was finally over and they could "move on with our lives".

She said her son, now 18, was slowly adjusting to life with limited use of what remains of his hands.

 

Michael Boggan of Leichhardt was grateful receive a large donation three years after having his fingers blown off by a golf ball bomb. Pictured with Mayor Paul Pisasale.
Michael Boggan of Leichhardt was grateful receive a large donation three years after having his fingers blown off by a golf ball bomb. Pictured with Mayor Paul Pisasale. David Nielsen

Michael uses his PlayStation to practise his co-ordination and strength.

"He is travelling well and starting to get outside a little bit. Sometimes he struggles to leave his room but we are working on these issues," Ms Boggan said.

"I still have to help him butter bread and do all those little things that we all take for granted."

Justice Catherine Holmes said there were a number of circumstances sufficient to enable the jury to conclude Dell was the architect of, and had under his control, the golf ball device that injured Michael Boggan.

"The jury were entitled to accept (Dell's) account to the police of the golf ball being thrown into the road, but to dismiss as self-serving and untrue his claim to have retrieved it," she said.

"The jury could reasonably reject the hypothesis that Aaron (the boy who found the bomb in a gutter) had produced or obtained in some other way the golf ball which he gave evidence of finding.

"While there was evidence suggesting that he had experimented with and been interested in minor forms of explosion, his behaviour in relation to the golf ball was consistent with his having no familiarity with its contents: showing it to others and expressing a belief that it was drugs, permitting others to taste it, and trying to smoke it."

The appeal court also rejected Dell's argument his four-year jail sentence was too long and it was excessive to require him to serve at least half his sentence before being eligible for parole.

Ms Boggan was full of praise for the Ipswich community, the police, the prosecutor and Mayor Paul Pisasale.

"I want to thank the entire Ipswich community for standing by us. Thanks to Paul Pisasale who was with us from day one," she said.

"The donations from the people of Ipswich have been overwhelming."

- ARM NEWSDESK



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