24 September 2022

Danny Klobucar allegedly attacked man accused of burning child with cigarette

| Albert McKnight
ACT Magistrates Court

Danny Klobucar is facing a hearing in the ACT Magistrates Court charged with choking. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

After a woman accused her housemate of burning a cigarette on her son’s leg, her boyfriend arrived at their home and allegedly choked the man until he passed out.

An ACT Magistrates Court hearing started against 34-year-old Danny Klobucar on Friday (23 September) in which he is accused of committing the attack at his girlfriend’s home in Conder on 30 May 2022.

There had been a mark on the boy’s leg, but when the girlfriend confronted the complainant and accused him of burning her son, he denied it and said the mark may have been ringworm.

Later, Klobucar and another woman went to the house and spoke to him. The woman allegedly punched the complainant in the face before Klobucar pushed him to the ground, wrapped his arm around his neck and choked him unconscious. The woman also allegedly kicked him while this was happening.

Another man who lived at the house intervened, then the complainant left, sought first aid from a nearby friend and was taken to hospital.

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The complainant’s interview with police was played to the court. It was recorded as he lay in his hospital bed the day after the alleged choking and the same day Klobucar was arrested in a traffic stop.

In it, the complainant described the loss of air he allegedly experienced as “unbearable”.

“I was trying to find air,” he said.

“I was trying to find a way to breathe.”

He claimed Klobucar, whom he had known for about three months, had called him while heading home before the alleged incident and said, “See you soon c-t”.

The complainant also denied the girlfriend’s allegations about him.

“It’s not even true what she’s saying,” he said.

Klobucar’s lawyer, Jacob Robertson of JDR Law, did not dispute there had been a physical altercation that night but urged Magistrate Robert Cook to analyse whether there was a lawful basis for it. He said there would be a factual dispute of what had occurred.

The housemate who intervened was the first to testify. He said Klobucar led the complainant onto the back veranda, then he later went out there and saw the pair with their hands on each others’ arms so he tackled them to the ground to prevent an altercation.

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He said the incident lasted about three seconds and it appeared the pair had been in a scuffle, not a fight. It “looked like they were dancing”, he said.

The housemate said he didn’t see the woman kick the complainant in the head, didn’t see the complainant unconscious, nor had the complainant complained to him about being unconscious at the time.

“He got up and ran pretty quick,” he said.

He said he was “close mates” with Klobucar, but was also friends with the complainant.

Klobucar, who sat in the courtroom with a braid and neckbeard, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of choking. He also faces a backup charge of common assault.

The hearing continues before Magistrate Cook.

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