Three generations avoid charges over alleged garden fight

ALL charges against three generations of a Bora Ridge family accused of assaulting a neighbour who removed a garden were dismissed in Lismore Local Court after a magistrate found prosecution evidence unreliable.

Roger Wood OAM, his son Michael and grandson Patrick were all charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company, affray and reckless grevious bodily harm in company over an incident that occurred on January 31 last year.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Miller told Magistrate David Heilpern Michael Wood planted a garden on the boundary of his property and his neighbour Steven Presbury thought the garden was on his property so he removed it.

It was submitted that the Wood men were trespassing on Mr Presbury's property and had the opportinuity to leave after being asked to do so a number of times.

The court heard a scuffle ensued, in which Mr Presbury admitted throwing the first punch, but Sgt Miller argued Patrick punched Mr Presubry multiple times in the face while he was being held down by Michael and Roger.

Mr Presbury suffered eight fractures to his cheek, nose and eye socket and a laceration above his eye from the incident.

Patrick Wood's barrister Megan Cusack said that her client acted in self defence, initially of his grandfather, then of his father.

Michael Wood's solicitor Tracey Randall questioned Mr Presbury's credibility as a witness as he told the court, but not police that Roger threw the first punch.

Roger Wood's barrister Peter O'Connor said under the enclosed lands protection act the Wood men were carrying out their lawful right to enter Mr Presbury's property to retrieve the plants.

In dismissing all charges, Mr Heilpern said he was satisfied the Wood men weren't tresspassing and there was nothing on Mr Presbury's CCTV footage showing him being punched by Patrick.

Mr Heilpern said both Mr Presbury and his partner Helen Divine neglected to tell police there was CCTV of the incident, that Mr Presbury approached the Wood men while armed with a mattock handle and he did not believe the couple hadn't discussed the incident since it happened.

Topics:  lismore local court

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