Man 'flogs' neighbour with gardening tool
A NEIGHBOURHOOD dispute escalated to violence when Jonathan Antony Tate bashed his neighbour in the head with a gardening tool.
Maroochydore Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday that Tate, 53, had not liked the man who was living next door to his Coolum Beach home.
The ill-feeling erupted on February 1 after Tate put a few palm fronds into the neighbour's wheelie bin.
When he discovered the neighbour had taken the fronds out of the bin, he went next door.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Tanya Fitzgerald said Tate was carrying a pair of long-handled secateurs and some plant cuttings when the victim saw him walking up the driveway about 12.50pm.
Sgt Fitzgerald said Tate raised the secateurs above his head as he approached but the victim did not move because he thought Tate was bluffing.
Tate struck the man in the left side of the face.
The impact caused multiple fractures to the man's eye socket but he did not require surgery to mend them.
Tate denied any knowledge of the attack or assaulting the victim in any way when police arrived to speak with him.
Defence solicitor Chelsea Emery said the victim had previously mocked Tate about not having a job and sworn at him.
She said her client had panicked that day when he denied involvement to police but had since pleaded guilty.
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist noted references tendered on Tate's behalf describing him as courteous, polite, friendly and caring.
Mr Stjernqvist also noted a banal incident involving palm frond had prompted Tate to "flog" his neighbour in the head with a metal instrument.
Tate was sentenced to 12 months in jail but released immediately on parole.
He was also ordered to pay $2000 compensation.
Tate declined to comment outside court.