Fence spat between neighbours leads to prison
A ROW between neighbours over trees damaging a fence has led to a Labrador man being jailed for four months after the spat turned violent.
Michael Aanderton left his neighbours Nick Cullen with a fractured vertebrae and his wife Skye Cullen suffered cuts and bruises.
Aanderton, 52, and Nicholas Vallera punched and kicked the Cullums on December 14 last year after 12 months of arguing over their shared fence on Wilson Street, Labrador.
Aanderton was yesterday found guilty in the Southport Magistrates Courts of two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and one count of trespass. He was sentenced to 12 months prison to be suspended after he served four months.
Vallera, earlier this year, was sentenced after he pleaded guilty to nine months prison which was suspended.
Magistrate Gary Finger said Aanderton showed no remorse for his actions.
"You twisted it the way you wanted to," he said. "You have blamed everyone else for your actions."
The Cullums hugged in the back of the courtroom.
"It's nice to see the justice system works for families like ours," Mrs Cullum said.
The court was told animosity between the neighbours began when trees on Aanderton's property damaged the Cullums' pool fence.
Aanderton refused to remove the trees.
On December 14 last year, Aanderton and Vallera went to the Cullums and a fight quickly broke out in the Cullum's carport.
The pair attacked Mr Cullum, punching him repeatedly and putting him in a headlock.
Aanderton then grabbed Mrs Cullum by the throat and shook her from side to side before throwing her.
He then put pressure on Mr Cullum's throat until he passed out.
"Mrs Cullum thought her husband was dead," Mr Finger said.
Aanderton then picked up Mr Cullum and threw him on the woodpile.
Aanderton gave evidence claiming he went to the neighbours because the Cullum's had been calling him a paedophile and making homophobic slurs.
Mr Finger said he found no evidence to support those claims.
Defence lawyer Troy Smith, for Moloney MacCallum Abdelshahied Lawyers, said outside court: "It was a good result given the circumstances outlined by Mr Finger."