Neighbour ‘b****-slapped’ over COVID isolation
An ongoing feud between two neighbours took a turn for the worst when one turned violent.
Barry McNamara, 67, pleaded guilty in Tweed Heads Local Court on Monday to entering a premises and common assault.
According to court documents, McNamara and the victim, 51, live in the same apartment complex in Tweed Heads and over the years have had ongoing disagreements regarding body corporate.
The victim also has a residence in Brisbane where he works.
The victim returned to the unit on January 8, 2021 after being in Brisbane and became aware of the three day lockdown where he was required to self-isolate.
He was inside his residence with the main door open but the screen door closed and unlocked at 7.30pm when McNamara was at the door and said "you've come down from Brisbane this morning but knowing you, you b******, you will use exercise as an excuse to go out."
The victim replied "don't talk to me like that, go away you b******."
The victim then attempted to close the front door and then McNamara entered the unit and by wedging himself in, stopping the door from closing.
The victim released the door McNamara proceeded into the unit.
The victim yelled "get out" and retreated backwards McNamara following.
He told McNamara to get out, before McNamara walked towards him and pushed him to the chest.
The victim continued to retreat, McNamara followed as he reached the kitchen table pushed the victim again.
The victim picked up his phone and took a number of photos
At this time the accused punched down the victim's hand causing the phone to fall forwards.
The victim said "you b******."
McNamara continued to move towards the victim who again who said "you've come in, you've hit me."
McNamara then struck the victim's hand causing the phone to fall and said to the victim "you hit me" which the victim replied "no I didn't."
The victim took a number of photos and McNamara said "oh yes you haven't got that on film have ya which the victim replied "go away Barry I've had enough of you."
McNamara left towards the door and the victim said "I've got enough of you on film" and "I am calling the police."
The victim later went to the Tweed Heads police station.
Police spoke to McNamara on January 24 who agreed he entered the property and "b**** slapped" the victim's hand, but denied pushing him in the chest or the conversation in the lead up.
In court the defence contested some of the facts and said his client didn't concede any conversations or that he pushed the victim.
He said when McNamara hits the phone it doesn't fall out of the victim's hand.
However he did concede that he should not have been in the victim's unit.
He said the victim, who was on the body corporate with McNamara's wife, had called McNamara's wife unsavoury names.
The defence asked the court to consider McNamara's age and unrelated, minimal criminal history.
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy accepted the offence was at the lower end of seriousness however warned McNamara.
"If you had done something more serious you would have been charged with a much more serious offence," Mr Dunlevy said.
He found the entering premises charged proved however dismissed it.
For the common assault McNamara was placed on a conditional release order for 12 months.
No convictions were recorded.