Golf rage leaves man disabled

A GOLF club carelessly thrown has left a young man no longer able to work, to play sport or read and write after it caved in his skull.

The club was thrown by a frustrated mate after he played a bad shot on a Noosa golf course.

Dane Parviainen – who was 25 at the time – collapsed immediately, bled profusely and needed two emergency surgeries to relieve brain pressure from the life-threatening injury.

Now 27, the qualified carpenter and chef is no longer employable because of the brain damage.

The man who threw the club, Daniel Patrick Betts, was jailed when he faced Maroochydore District Court yesterday.

He had been charged with causing grievous bodily harm at the sixth hole of the Noosa Par 3 Golf Club on December 13, 2009.

Judge Michael Shanahan said Mr Parviainen was no longer able to drive, socialise or participate in recreational activities.

“He has been permanently and severely disabled,” he said.

“The degree of negligence is a high one. You clearly threw the club with some force in the direction of people.”

Betts must serve six months of a two-year jail term.

The balance will hang over his head for two years.

A statement of facts tendered to the court detailed how Betts, the victim, the victim’s father and another friend were 15 holes into a 27-hole game when the injury occurred about 3.30pm.

One witness told police Betts regularly threw clubs in frustration over his poor form on the golf course, “at least twice every round”.

He said Betts, on this occasion, bashed a wedge into the ground and then spun 180 degrees and threw the club at shoulder level towards a golf cart.

Mr Parviainen had stopped playing because he had no more balls and was standing with Betts’ children, aged six and four, beside the cart.

“The golf club has gone over the heads ... (of) both the kids, missing their heads by about four inches, the club then struck Dane on the head,” the witness said.

The court heard Betts had done something similar when he was about 12 years old, hitting his own father in the mouth with a club.

Defence barrister Steve Courtney described the injury as “awful” but not a deliberate action.

“It was a brain snap, it happened in a split second,” he said.

Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings said Betts had originally tried to downplay his action, claiming the club had slipped from his hand in a practice shot.

He said evidence he had previously thrown clubs out of anger and that he had hit his own father should have taught him the danger.

“(The photos tendered to the court) show how severe the force was,” he said.

“He is now effectively unemployable.”

A piece of bone from Mr Parviainen’s skull was removed and left open until May last year when an acrylic cranioplasty was inserted.



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