The Supreme Court released the sentencing of Dennis Bloomfield after a houso on houso punch up on Twamley Crescent Richardson last year.
In February 2011 two Richardson families (Coghlan and Bloomfield) butted heads.
The Coghlan son had allegedly sexually assaulted the Bloomfield daughter in his family’s home the previous year and was subsequently charged. The two families lived almost adjacent from one another and so there was a large amount of animosity following the charges. More charges were pressed by the Bloomfields about the conduct of the Coghlan’s following the incident.
On the 5th of February 2011, Mr Bloomfield and his partner were leaving their property to go to dinner when they found Coghlan’s son outside of his father’s house, in breach of his bail conditions which stated that he not visit his father’s home. He then proceeded to make an offensive gesture (we can assume it was the bird) towards Mr Bloomfield and his partner.
During the night Mr Bloomfield consumed a lot of alcohol whilst his partner said to him:
“You need to sort this out, Dennis. He’s threatening our family. It has to stop. The kids are only young. You are the head of the family. You need to grow some balls and put a stop to it. You need to sort it out. Please, Dennis, put a stop to it”
Upon returning home, Mr Bloomfield, accompanied by his brother in law, visited Mr Coghlan at his home. The screen door was locked whilst the front door was unlocked and open. Mr Coghlan greeted him unpleasantly, dropping both C and F-bombs. Unsurprisingly, this upset Mr Bloomfield and a yelling match ensued. Mr Coghlan displayed physical signs of aggression which angered Mr Bloomfield even more. Mr Bloomfield gripped the mesh of the screen door and pulled, opening the door and stepping inside.
Punches were thrown about by all parties for about 30 seconds and Mr Coghlan sustained minor injuries. The police and ambulance was called; no one knows who called them. Charges of aggravated burglary, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and damaging property were issued against Mr Bloomfield. In May of 2011, Mr Bloomfield pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, changing his plea in September to “guilty”. Mr Bloomfield had also offered to pay for the damages to the screen door. He does not have a clean slate, having previously faced 11 other charges. One minor charge committed in 2008 and 10 others regarding motor vehicles in 1998. The sentencing judge, Justice Nield, did not take these under consideration when sentencing Bloomfield as they were not of a violent nature.
Justice Nield took many other factors into consideration when deciding the sentence:
I accept that the offender has good prospects for rehabilitation and that he is unlikely to re-offend. This is the first time when he acted violently. He was spurred into acting violently by the actions of the complainant. He is ashamed and remorseful for what he did. He has the support of his wife, children and supervisor. He has changed his place of residence. He has ceased to drink alcohol. He is considered by the author of the pre-sentence report to be a low risk of re-offending. He has commenced anger management programs as suggested by ACT Corrective Services. All this bodes well for his future.
Another factor that I consider to be relevant, in addition to what I have said already about the offences and the offender, is the fact that the offender is the breadwinner, to use that expression, for his family and that his family would suffer financially to a significant degree if he were sentenced to imprisonment.
A final factor that I consider to be relevant is that the offender’s wife has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and that she is to be shortly admitted into hospital for major surgery. The offender will need to be available to care for his two juvenile children during his wife’s hospitalisation and to assist his wife after her discharge from hospital.
The sentence is suspended with a good behaviour bond. Mr Bloomfield has also been ordered to pay $446.55 in damages for the screen door.