A MAN who grabbed a woman's throat in an unprovoked attack at a supermarket has narrowly avoided jail and given a custodial sentence to be served in the community instead.
Kooringal man Rodney Thomas O'Bryan, 44, appeared in Wagga Local Court on Monday after he pleaded guilty to one count of common assault, two counts of intimidation and one count of behaving in an offensive manner.
Police documents tendered to the court state that about 5.30pm on March 11 this year, O'Bryan attended a Kooringal supermarket where he had taken a fall.
A security guard and the store's duty manager attended O'Bryan out of concern for him, which required him to complete an incident report.
However, O'Bryan soon became argumentative with them both.
After he calmed down, he walked towards the checkout aisles where he grabbed a woman around her throat, causing her breathing difficulties.
"This action was deliberate and forceful, causing the victim to feel immediate pain and distress," the police documents read.
Two security guards had to intervene and restrain O'Bryan before police arrived to arrest him.
On Monday, defence solicitor Marie-Clare Tabuteau argued for leniency based on the events leading up to the assault.
Ms Tabuteau said people had moved into the Department of Housing premises that O'Byran was living in and they soon began dealing illicit drugs.
She said he was under pressure to resolve the situation.
Ms Tabuteau said her client had methamphetamine in the days before going to the supermarket to "stage a slip and fall" so that he could report the drug-dealing matter at his accommodation to authorities.
"He says he's ashamed of what he did and that he can't blame the drugs for what occurred that day," she said.
Ms Tabuteau argued for a community custodial sentence because "it would be good for Mr O'Bryan if he were engaged with the community in a peaceful and social way".
"He tells me that he struggles with depression and as far as his mental health is concerned, the community service would be a good way to support that," she said.
Magistrate Christopher Halburd gave O'Bryan a 13-month intensive corrections order for the common assault and behaving in an offensive manner and a 14-month community corrections order for the two intimidation offences.
He reminded O'Bryan that the ICO was a jail sentence served in the community.
"Make no mistake about that," he said.
"The lady was just minding her own business at the supermarket and you grabbing her around the neck would've been terrifying for her.
"What is true is that there's been several years gap in your offending, so you can function in the community."
He said that should O'Bryan not adhere to the conditions, he may "very well find yourself simply locked up".
On Monday, O'Bryan was also convicted, fined $800 and disqualified further for driving while disqualified to which he had pleaded guilty.
Read more court and crime news
While you're with us, did you know that you can now receive updates straight to you inbox each day at 6am from The Daily Advertiser? To make sure you're up to date with all the Wagga news sign up here.