IN COURT: Leeton Neil Hedge faced Dalby Magistrates Court on December 15. Picture: Facebook
IN COURT: Leeton Neil Hedge faced Dalby Magistrates Court on December 15. Picture: Facebook

Dalby man ‘choked’ young woman in terrifying drunken attack

A YOUNG woman had to run for safety when a drunk Dalby man "choked" her before chasing her along Drayton St in a frightening late night attack.

Leeton Neil Hedge, 22, faced Dalby Magistrates Court via video link charged with common assault in a public place while adversely affected by an intoxicating substance.

The court heard police were called to the Gallery Motor Inn about 2.10am on October 18, in relation to a young woman who had been assaulted.

Police spoke to the victim who gave her version of the events from 12.30am to 2.10am that evening.

The court heard she left the Criterion Hotel on foot to McDonald's with Hedge about 12.30am, and visited the fast food establishment while Hedge stayed at the Freedom Fuels service station.

Shortly afterwards the victim picked up Hedge while in the vehicle with a friend, and drove back to his home outside Dalby.

Senior constable Tahana said the victim and Hedge later had a disagreement before she left to walk back into town, with Hedge approaching in a cab some time later.

Leeton Neil Hedge faced Dalby Magistrates Court on one charge. Picture: Facebook
Leeton Neil Hedge faced Dalby Magistrates Court on one charge. Picture: Facebook

The court heard she entered the vehicle where the two had a further argument.

The young woman's night took a turn for the worst as Hedge followed her when she exited the cab on Drayton St.

Senior constable Tahana said Hedge had attempted to block her path as she walked, before putting his hand around her throat and pushing her into a fence.

"The victim reported to have had difficulty breathing when the defendant's hands were on her throat," she said.

"After freeing herself from the defendant's grasp, the victim then ran in a westerly direction on Drayton St, with [Hedge] following her.

"The defendant caught her in the service station and tried to grab her, [where] she then slapped him and told him to get away from her."

The court heard during the struggle, Hedge punched the victim's McDonald's bag out of her hand, before she ran to the Gallery Motor Inn to call police.

The victim knew Hedge for two years, and "considered him to be a friend" until this incident, Dalby court heard.

Senior constable Jodie Tahana said police had encountered Hedge on the way to the incident on Drayton St, and arrested him.

She told the court police observed Hedge to be "erratic", with his "eyes bloodshot", and could smell liquor on his breath.

The court heard Hedge was transported to the watch house by police, and returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.130.

Senior constable Tahana said the victim sustained no physical injuries as a result of the assault.

Leeton Neil Hedge faced Dalby Magistrates Court on December 15. Picture: Facebook
Leeton Neil Hedge faced Dalby Magistrates Court on December 15. Picture: Facebook

Solicitor Claire Graham told the court the 22-year-old had a "very good" working history, and had good prospects of rehabilitation in relation to alcohol.

She cited his previous violent offending, submitting for a suspended term of imprisonment.

Senior constable Tahana said his past entries related to a robbery in company at Chemist Warehouse in Logan Central, where Hedge assaulted a security guard, and punched a pharmacist in the face, knocking out one of his teeth.

The court heard Hedge had been on parole for these serious offences.

Magistrate Tracy Mossop said Hedge had committed common assault in a public place where he "choked" the person in question.

"You are at risk of killing someone unless you do something about your anger and violence while you're in custody," she said.

"You are now at the whim of the parole board of what they're going to do with you."

Hedge pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, with a parole eligibility date set for December 15.

He was then given 40 hours of community service.

A conviction was recorded.



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