13 January 2023

Grandfather's bayonet allegedly used to stab tenant during bathroom argument

| Albert McKnight
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Coat of Arms on court building

Daniel Ernest Votto, 45, has been charged with intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A man is accused of stabbing his temporary tenant with his grandfather’s bayonet, putting him in hospital, after an argument allegedly erupted over the use of the bathroom.

Court documents say that Daniel Ernest Votto had given the complainant and his partner permission to live in a caravan in the front yard of his Kaleen home for a while last year.

On Tuesday afternoon (10 January), an argument began when the partner allegedly mocked Mr Votto’s partner about her family, so he told the couple they were no longer welcome to live there and to leave.

The verbal argument escalated before the complainant allegedly went inside the home with a wooden bat and used it to hit Mr Votto on the arm.

During a scuffle that followed, the complainant allegedly received stab wounds from a 55 cm-long bayonet.

Mr Votto later allegedly claimed to have used the bayonet in self-defence.

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When police arrived, they saw the complainant had a stab wound on the centre of his chest and armpit area, while blood was inside and outside the caravan.

He was taken to hospital in a stable condition with a collapsed lung.

When officers spoke to the complainant’s partner, she claimed the argument began after Mr Votto denied her access to the toilet.

Police arrested Mr Votto, who allegedly admitted stabbing the complainant, but he said he didn’t mean to do it as the complainant had run straight at him while he was polishing his grandfather’s bayonet.

He also allegedly said the complainant came at him, swinging at his head with a club.

The 45-year-old was charged with intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm as well as causing grievous bodily harm by an unlawful act when he appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday (11 January).

Prosecutor Colin Balog opposed his bail application, arguing that from one reading of the alleged facts for the case, Mr Votto could be seen to have difficulty regulating his anger.

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Legal Aid’s Sam Brown said while Mr Votto wanted the complainant and the complainant’s partner to move out of the home, which he owned, he could move with his family to Red Hill for a time.

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said the alleged facts for the case did raise issues of self-defence; however, whether that was established would be a different matter.

She granted bail and adjourned the case to 1 February. No pleas were entered.

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