Melanie (left) and Natalie Middleton are on trial at Ipswich for an alleged attempted home invasion.
Melanie (left) and Natalie Middleton are on trial at Ipswich for an alleged attempted home invasion.

Sisters accused of attack on love rival’s dad

TWO Lockyer Valley sisters are denying allegations at trial they threatened violence at a rural property while armed with a hunting knife.

A jury heard the confrontation was triggered by a love triangle involving one of the accused.

In his evidence on Monday, the alleged victim said he was able to push the 'bigger girl' over causing her to fall on pebbles outside the front door and drop the knife, after being confronted by the women who tried to push past him into the family house.

Appearing before a jury in Ipswich District Court, Melanie Maree Middleton, 33, and her sister Natalie Ann Middleton, 36, from Helidon, pleaded not guilty to Crown prosecution charges of attempting to enter a rural dwelling with intent at night/threaten violence when armed with a knife at Lower Tenthill on April 17, 2019; and one charge each of doing common assault to Gavin Sutton.

 

Natalie Middleton arrives at Ipswich Courthouse during her trial over an alleged attempted home invasion.
Natalie Middleton arrives at Ipswich Courthouse during her trial over an alleged attempted home invasion.

 

In his opening to the jury panel, Crown prosecutor Jack Kennedy said the Middleton sisters came looking for Mr Sutton's daughter Kelly.

Mr Kennedy said one of the Middleton sisters had been seeing Kelly Sutton's former boyfriend Anthony Smith.

The jury heard Kelly Sutton would allege the sisters chased her in their car earlier that evening when she went out to buy a pet bird at Helidon.

The sisters went to the Sutton house that night where Natalie is alleged to have pulled out a large hunting knife from behind her back.

Homeowner Gavin Sutton, 52, told the court he heard dogs barking about 10pm and saw a silver car on the driveway.

He opened the front door and saw two women.

"They started swearing, "where the f***ing hell is Kelly. Where is that fat s**t", Mr Sutton said.

"They tried to push past me. I stepped down onto the pavers to try and stop them from getting past me.

"The larger girl started swearing we want to sort this shit out. That's when it went pear-shaped.

"The larger girl (Natalie) pulled a knife out from behind her back.

"A big blade. It was a chunky knife. Blade at least 30cm long.

"She sort-of came at me, tried to stab me."

 

Gavin Sutton leaves court after giving evidence in a trial at Ipswich District Court.
Gavin Sutton leaves court after giving evidence in a trial at Ipswich District Court.

 

Mr Sutton said he put out both of his arms and pushed her backwards by the shoulders.

This caused her to fall on her backside and drop the knife.

He said Melanie then yelled that he hit her sister then she picked up the knife and came at him with it raised above her head, saying: "I'll f***ing stab you, you bastard."

He said he grabbed her arm and gave it "a good squeeze" and she (Melanie) dropped it

Mr Sutton said she punched him twice in the head.

When cross-examined by Natalie's defence barrister Debra Wardell, he denied her allegation that he punched the sisters first, and was lying about the knife.

"She (Melanie) tried to stick me in the neck. I grabbed her arm," Mr Sutton said.

"She dropped the knife. Due to my back injury I couldn't pick it up, I can't bend.

"She starts yelling, carrying on, saying: "You're going to be dead in a week".

"My wife says the police are coming and they take a few steps back, still calling my daughter a big fat s**t.

"The skinnier girl comes back and picks it (the knife) up."

He said his daughter Kelly had been standing behind him.

"A knife was pulled. I had three grandchildren inside. No way were they getting past me," Mr Sutton said.

 

Melanie Middleton arrives at Ipswich Courthouse.
Melanie Middleton arrives at Ipswich Courthouse.

 

When cross examined by Melanie's defence barrister Shane Macdonald, Mr Sutton again denied punching either of the sisters.

"I was brought up to never hit a girl no matter what," Mr Sutton said.

Under repeated questioning, he strongly maintained that there was a knife, saying it had been Natalie Middleton who first lunged at him.

In her evidence, Kelly Sutton, 33, said her ex-boyfriend was Anthony Smith who was a friend of Natalie Middleton.

Ms Sutton said she accidentally came across the sisters in Helidon earlier that evening when looking for the home of a person who was selling a pet bird.

Then when driving home after 6.30pm she was followed by a car on the country back roads that began flashing its headlights and sounding the horn.

She stopped but when she saw that it was the Middleton girls, she took off.

Ms Sutton said she was at her parents' home at 9.45pm when she heard loud voices and went to the front door and saw her father and the Middleton sisters.

"That's when I saw the knife that Melanie had raised above her head," she said.

Ms Sutton said she did not see Natalie with the knife.

"Mum was on the phone to the police. Both ran off down the hill," she said.

"I guess one hit the electric fence as I heard screaming, then a car drove off."

The trial before Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC is expected to conclude on Thursday.



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