Thrown pig's head leads to punch-up
CONFRONTED by a pig's head and guts thrown in front of the house where he lived with his daughter, Luke Raymond Harvey quickly became embroiled in a fight which ended with him and his brother facing court.
He called the police over the dumped offal but was told they were unable to respond at the time and was advised not to go outside if those responsible returned.
When they did, however, Luke and his brother Brett confronted them
In the ensuing fight, Gympie Magistrates Court heard, one of the victims was knocked unconscious while another was punched twice in the side of the head, suffering bruises and abrasions. Brett Harvey did not strike anyone during the fight, which was recorded on their phones by several witnesses.
Luke, 26, of Gympie, and Brett, 28, of Gympie, pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm and one count of assault occasioning bodily harm in company respectively.
The court heard the fight had broken out due to the "ongoing harrassment by the complainant and associates".
Defence lawyer Elizabeth McAuley said Luke Harvey's house had been egged, his tyres slashed and he had been the victim of an attempted assault.
The night before the fight he had also received threatening phone calls.
Ms McAuley said Luke, who suffers from ADHD and depression, accepted he did "overreact" and would handle the situation differently if he had the chance.
Defending Brett, who volunteers at St Vincent De Paul when possible and works as a carer, Ms McAuley said he had been aware of the ongoing harassment of his brother and had stepped in to help after hearing about the dumping of the pig's head.
"He was looking out for his brother Luke," Ms McAuley said.
However, the harassment soon spread to him, too, including an attempt to run his car off the road.
Ms McAuley said the harassment became so bad he was forced to leave Gympie to escape it.
Neither brother had a history of violence.
In sentencing, Magistrate Ross Woodford acknowledged they had been "pushed into it", and that Brett had tried to help when the complainant "turned up backed up by his mates".
However, he said it did not excuse their actions.
Luke and Brett were each given 12 months' probation.
No convictions were recorded.