‘My mate’: Stabbed dad misses attacker son
A CAIRNS father stabbed in the neck by one of his sons during an alcohol-fuelled argument is seeking to revive the relationship despite the ongoing physical and mental scars affecting him every day.
Conan John Francis Bertrand, 28, appeared in Cairns Supreme Court on Monday when he was sentenced to a maximum of 3½ years' jail for causing grievous bodily harm in a domestic setting.
The court heard that in the early hours of Conan's birthday on September 28 last year, he and his father, 64-year-old Christopher Bertrand, were aboard a boat moored off Admiralty Island when they argued about a dog that was in Conan's care.
Conan then grabbed a sword in the boat and stabbed his father in the neck, causing a wound that left him needing 30 stitches.
Both men had been drinking that night with Conan's blood alcohol reading between 0.202 and 0.274 at the time of the offence.
Conan was initially charged with attempted murder and in February was committed to trial. The charge was downgraded to causing grievous bodily harm to which he pleaded guilty on Monday.
In court, Justice Jim Henry's associate, Tom Feeney, read out Chris' victim impact statement that described how he wanted to re-establish a relationship with his son.
"Conan was my mate and helped me when I needed a hand … he was always around," the statement read.
"All I want is for Conan and I to be friends again one day and that he gets the help he needs."
The court also heard about the physical and mental scars that still affect the victim every day.
"The psychological impact from the assault is the worst part I must deal with and live with every day," the statement read.
"The grief comes over me like a wave. I can't control the feelings going on in my head."
His statement goes on to read that he continues to feel tightening and discomfort around his neck.
The court also heard that since the incident, Chris has become homeless and now resides with friends.
In his sentencing remarks, Justice Jim Henry said that it was clear from the photos tendered that "good luck, not good management" meant Conan did not kill his father.
Justice Henry said that based on Chris' impact statement, it did not appear as though he wanted the maximum sentence imposed on his son despite there being a "repetition of recourse with knives when he's losing the plot" based on his criminal history.
"A lot of people have terrible upbringing and they don't manage to break the law," he said.
Earlier in the hearing, defence barrister Josh Trevino argued for leniency based on his client's traumatic upbringing, which included being exposed to domestic violence.
Crown Prosecutor Nathan Crane argued for three to four years' jail because of Conan's previous offences involving violence and knives.
With a non-parole period of 14 months and having been in custody for 296 days pre-sentence, Conan will be eligible for release in November this year.
Originally published as 'My mate': Stabbed dad misses attacker son