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Woman fights for life after assault in own backyard

Police guarded the South Mackay unit on Tuesday.
Police guarded the South Mackay unit on Tuesday. Jacob Miley

NO ONE has yet been charged over a horrifying incident that has left an elderly Mackay woman fighting for her life in hospital.

Shirley Page, 72, was booked on a flight yesterday morning to Tasmania, her neighbour said. Instead, she's in a hospital bed in a serious condition with her family by her side.

A neighbour at the Morley St unit complex, who asked not to be named, was shocked by the events..

Detectives spent Monday night investigating an assault which allegedly occurred between a 72-year-old woman and a man in his 20s.

The neighbour described the man allegedly involved as a "ring in" at the public housing complex.

She believed an argument had started over an ongoing dispute over pets.

"He shouldn't have even been in the complex," she said.

"Him and another woman are staying with another tenant, the altercation all started because they've got a dog and a couple of cats and we're not allowed to have them," the neighbour claimed.

 

Investigators gather at the South Mackay home.
Investigators gather at the South Mackay home. Jacob Miley

The neighbour has lived in the building for about 21 years, she said, the same length of time as her friend.

She said her friend had been planning the trip for some time, but was instead now fighting for her life at Mackay Base Hospital.

"The poor bugger," the neighbour said.

Police were called to the Morley St unit complex about 4.30pm Monday after reports an elderly woman had been allegedly assaulted.

Preliminary investigations by police indicated that a man and woman had been involved in a verbal argument that escalated.

Early yesterday, forensics and detectives remained at the scene, while another officer guarded the property.

Mackay District Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow yesterday told reporters they were investigating whether the woman's head injuries were caused by an implement or by her striking the ground.

"At this stage it's not believed there is a weapon involved, however, we don't discount anything," he said.

It is not believed that alcohol or drugs played a part in aggravating the assault, he said.

Police believe a 22-year-old man, who they say is a resident of the unit complex, was allegedly responsible for causing the injuries.

A man was yesterday 'assisting police with the investigation', however, he was not in custody and police did not have plans to lay any charges last night.

"He's not considered a risk or threat to any member of the public," Det Insp Shadlow said.

"They were known to each other, it wasn't a random attack, unfortunately he just went a bit too far.

"I won't speculate on if or when charges will be laid. That will be dictated to by the investigation."

He said police were yet to rule out whether the alleged assault was an accident.

"We won't discount anything at this stage," he said.

The neighbour told The Daily Mercury, police had heard her account of events.

"I heard loud voices. Out the back in the carpark, between the two sets of units," she said.

"There was an altercation out the back and the young fella pushed the lady over and she's hurt her head, hit her head on the concrete.

"There was a fair bit of blood, I phoned 000 and got the police and ambulance to come.

The young fella was very angry and that. I just walked away from him."



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