A man has been sentenced to a hefty amount of community service after he assaulted his lifelong friend during an argument about an old armchair.
Mount Austin’s Brian Arthur Clarke, 55, fronted Wagga Local Court on Monday after the May 29 incident saw him throw punches at his friend of some 40 years.
The court heard Clarke’s mother had passed away just weeks before the incident and he enlisted the help of the victim to clear out her house.
The victim later told police Clarke had asked him to dispose of the old property for him, which he apparently did not want to keep.
However, defence solicitor Marie-Clare Tabuteau said Clarke had actually wanted the victim to keep an old reclining armchair for him.
“Mr Clarke went around to ask [the victim] for it, but was told he couldn’t have it because [he] had given the chair to his ex-girlfriend,” Ms Tabuteau said.
“At that point, Mr Clarke said he couldn’t believe what he was hearing and he just lost the plot.”
Clarke was arrested and charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm after the incident, which left the victim with injuries to his left arm and the left side of his face.
Ms Tabuteau said the armchair was important to Clarke because he had planned to use it to cover his mother’s funeral expenses.
“It was worth about $900 and he was going to sell it to pay for the plaque for his mother’s grave” she said.
“That was the reason he was so upset, he just couldn’t believe it had been given away just like that.”
Magistrate Christopher Halburd sentenced Clarke to 120 hours’ of community service work and said he should have known better given his record for violence.
“This is a guy that you’ve known for 40 years and you’ve previously had a very good relationship with, and you went into his home and belted him,” Mr Halburd said.
“You should know that courts take these sorts of matters very seriously – you’ve been to jail for matters of violence before.”
Clarke was on two good behaviour bonds at the time of the assault, one for being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence and the other for driving with an illicit drug in his system.
Mr Halburd reimposed his good behaviour bonds for another 18 months and also disqualified his licence for six months.
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