Neighbourhood argument escalates to assault
A DISPUTE over a few cash-earning trees ended in Bradley John Cooke bashing his neighbour's arm with a bat during a heated argument.
He also took his anger out on a mail box.
Cooke pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court to the assault, plus one count each of public nuisance and wilful damage.
The dispute stemmed from the removal of some trees which used to drop seed pods.
Cooke and his neighbour had agreed the owner of the property the seeds fell on could collect and sell them.
But he became enraged when the tree was removed.
Defence lawyer Caitlin Shannon-Dear said Cooke's right arm was amputated following an accident in 2002 and he picked up the bat because he felt insecure in the argument.
The father of six has been in custody since the incident on December 10.
Ms Shannon-Dear said Cooke was very remorseful and felt guilty that his family, based at Kabra, had struggled without him.
Cooke has previously been placed on parole, but Ms Shannon-Dear said he had complied with all conditions.
Acting Magistrate Mark Morrow commented on Cooke's previous violent offending, but acknowledged his good work history.
"You may have felt somewhat frustrated in relation to the matter, but you don't get a bat and start swinging,” he told Cooke.
Cooke was given a head sentence of 15 months' imprisonment, but will be due for release on parole on April 30.