Normella Duncan chats with son Victor outside Toowoomba courthouse during a court break.
Normella Duncan chats with son Victor outside Toowoomba courthouse during a court break. Bev Lacey

Judge sets grieving family free

JUDGE Kiernan Dorney QC cited "peculiar and special circumstances" when he ruled none of the Duncan family should be jailed for the assault of a man at Toowoomba Courthouse.

Members of the Duncan family had "unresolved grief" following the death of family patriarch Peter "Bo" Duncan and blamed the complainant man for Mr Duncan's death, the court heard.

Mr Duncan suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after being involved in a street fracas with the complainant and his brother on Chamberlain St, January 19, 2010.

Subsequent police investigations and a coronial inquiry ruled no one should be charged in relation to Mr Duncan's death which incensed the Duncan family.

When the complainant attended court on an unrelated traffic matter on October 19, 2010, word was leaked to the Duncans and a confrontation ensued.

Bo Duncan's brothers Anthony Alex Duncan, 42, and Shane Gordon Duncan, 41, each pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to the man, while Bo's wife of 27 years Normella Margaret Duncan, 51, and their son Victor Terrence Duncan, 23, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm in company.

Judge Dorney sentenced Anthony and Shane Duncan to two years jail but ordered the whole term be suspended immediately for four years.

Normella and Victor Duncan were sentenced to 12 months jail, wholly suspended for 12 months.

A juvenile boy, 16 at the time, is to be sentenced in the Children's Court later this year on a charge of grievous bodily harm arising from the same incident.



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