Neighbours' dispute ends in court

A NEIGHBOURHOOD dispute that got out of control landed two people in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Friday.

Sarah Ann McGrath pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault and trespass while her partner William Allan Paterson Smith pleaded guilty to one count of common assault and trespass.

The couple reside at a Calliope address and at 2am on December 26 police were called after a dispute over their neighbour’s dogs escalated. Both defendants jumped their neighbour’s fence and refused to leave.

Smith threatened to punch the neighbour and McGrath grabbed the neighbour by the hair and the throat, then threatened to punch. Smith then punched the neighbour in the face. McGrath grabbed the neighbour by the arm and scratched him. As they were leaving both picked up objects and threw at the neighbours.

Defence solicitor Stacey O’Gorman said it was a neighbourhood dispute that got out of control.

“The neighbours have dogs that continually bark and my clients have tried to talk to them,” she said.

“They can’t use their outdoor area or yard because of the dogs and are afraid to collect their mail because the dogs jump and try to bite,” she said.

Ms O’Gorman said it was a one-off behaviour caused out of frustration. Magistrate Damian Carroll fined McGrath $900 or 12 days jail with no conviction recorded. Smith was fined $700 or 12 days jail with a conviction recorded.

Also in court, Damien Marcus Robinson pleaded guilty to driving without a licence.

Police pulled over Robinson at 2.45pm on July 7 on Kirkwood Road. The defendant had moved house without advising the Department of Transport and didn’t receive the suspension letter.

“I’m sorry and it won’t happen again,” Robinson said.

“You are a 22-year-old with three pages of traffic history,” Mr Carroll said.

The defendant was fined $275 or four days jail with a conviction recorded. He was disqualified from driving for two months.



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