31 May 2021

Son who punched father while working on a roof avoids jail

| Albert McKnight
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ACT Law Courts

The son was serving a suspended sentence at the time of the incident. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A son who assaulted his father on a roof after the latter accused him of being “on the nod” has avoided spending time in jail.

The 28-year-old was sentenced in the ACT Magistrates Court on Friday (28 May), where Magistrate James Stewart summarised the violent incident.

The men, both of whom are in the construction industry, were working on a roof when the father questioned whether or not his son was fit enough to get up onto the top of the building.

He said his son was “on the nod”, which Magistrate Stewart said was a term that meant being at the end of a binge of illicit drugs.

The young man struck his father, who fell. He then said: “Who’s the weak c–t now?”

Magistrate Stewart said the father went home and received a “barrage” of messages from his son, including threats to tear the roof apart. He also called his father a “dog” and a “motherf—er”.

Magistrate Stewart said family violence matters were always serious, but in this case, a close family member was struck on a roof, which made it especially dangerous.

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The son was also on a suspended sentence at the time and spent 35 days in custody from February, which Magistrate Stewart backdated as time served during his sentencing.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of assault and using a carriage service to harass.

Magistrate Stewart said the young man was still having difficulties with illicit drugs, and while it did explain his behaviour, it did not excuse it.

“He was able to make choices about whether he struck his father or not, and he chose to,” he said.

Magistrate Stewart told the son a prison sentence “was a fairly obvious choice” for him, and if he were not working, he would have been sent back to jail.

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Instead, he sentenced him to three months’ jail, suspended for 12-months during which he would have to submit to drug and alcohol testing.

He was also given 75 hours of community service and fined $1500.

“I hope I don’t see you again,” Magistrate Stewart told him.

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