A NORTH Arm man who bit off his neighbour's fingertip in a fight has been found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm.
Jon Marco Reginald Perrin, 46, bit the tip off the left index finger of his next-door neighbour, Richard Batchelor, after an argument over a diesel spill turned violent in October 2015.
Perrin pleaded not guilty to the charge but yesterday the jury hearing his case in Maroochydore District Court found the force he used in biting Mr Batchelor was more than reasonably necessary to defend himself.
The two men had been neighbours for little more than a month when the disagreement over a fuel spill erupted.
Mr Batchelor told the court during the trial that Perrin had accused him of deliberately dumping diesel from a tank behind his shed, which had leaked onto Perrin's driveway, and Perrin had reported the spill to the council.
When Perrin confronted Mr Batchelor about what he planned to do about the spill on Friday, October 30, the day after the two men had first talked about the fuel, a fight broke out.
It ended when Perrin was lying on the ground with Mr Batchelor on top of him, his left hand on Perrin's face, and Perrin bit through the nail and tip of one of Mr Batchelor's fingers.
Perrin severed the finger about half-way down the nail bed, cutting through flesh and bone. The fingertip was never found.
An operation to close the finger removed more of the bone, so Mr Batchelor was left an index finger ending just above the first knuckle.
The jury spent several hours deliberating before finding Perrin guilty.
When he thanked the jurors for their service, Judge John Robertson said deciding these cases was "always very difficult".
Judge Robertson began hearing submissions about an appropriate sentence for Perrin but put off a decision so defence barrister Mark McCarthy could look into a partial restorative justice outcome.
Judge Robertson said both men were out of control but Perrin's reaction was "grossly excessive".
"What happened was disgraceful and had a significant effect on this man (Mr Batchelor)," he said.
"I would think Mr Batchelor would feel more vindicated if there was some response that addressed his needs."
Perrin will remain on bail until he returns to court on June 19.
"He's otherwise a hard working and reasonable member of the community," Judge Robertson said.
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