Concreter holds sword to woman’s neck over kitten dispute
An enraged concreter who took a samurai sword to mete out vigilante justice held it to the back of the neck of his victim and told her "let her go or I will kill you where you stand, slut", a court has heard.
The chilling statement was made when the man accompanied his landlord to confront acquaintances of theirs - a man and a woman - at their home following the alleged theft of a kitten and assault of a man with a disability, a police prosecutor told Cleveland Magistrates Court yesterday.
Appearing at the court yesterday afternoon Gregory Allen Hill, 45, pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault and one count of going armed to cause fear.
His co-accused and landlord Dale Alexandra Byers, 55, pleaded guilty to one count of assaults occasioning bodily harm.
The court heard Redland Bay residents Hill and Byers drove to the Pitt Street house of their acquaintances at around 6pm on November 27 last year and confronted their victims "in what could have been called a home invasion".
The court was told bad blood formed three weeks prior to the "potentially deadly" incident when their male victim was suspected of stealing a ragdoll kitten, valued at $1,500, from a litter.
Defence solicitor Bruce Johnston said tempers were sent soaring when Byers' 18-year-old son - who suffers a disability - was allegedly assaulted by her victim when the young man inquired about the kitten's disappearance.
On November 27, the court heard, Hill held a 50-centimetre decorative samurai sword to his one victim's neck while the woman struggled with Byers.
A police prosecutor said the defendant said words to the effect of: "Let her go or I will kill you where you stand, slut".
However, Hill interrupted proceedings to say, "those are lies".
For her part, Byers told the court she was unaware of the sword until they arrived at their victims' home.
The court further heard Hill swung the sword at his other victim and also struck the man in the head with an open hand and kicked him.
Mr Johnston said the sword was used "more for show" and as a warning by his clients telling their victims to "stay away", however a police prosecutor said the notion was not supported by the facts.
The "incredibly foolish" offending was ultimately blasted by Magistrate Deborah Vasta.
"Two wrongs don't make a right," she said.
"It is just insane to take matters into your own hands - it is how people end up dead".
For his "more serious" offending Hill was sentenced to four months in prison with immediate parole.
He was also ordered to pay his victim $100 in compensation.
Byers was sentenced to one month in prison, wholly suspended over nine months and ordered to pay her victim $300 in compensation.
Both defendants had convictions recorded.
Originally published as Concreter holds sword to woman's neck over kitten dispute