An act of "misplaced nobility" has sent a man straight to prison from Inverell Court House, after a medical centre row ended with a man hit by a car and tossed over the fence - in front of police.
Appearing on bail, 49-year-old Darren Toms was escorted directly to jail on Thursday after his sentencing in the local court, where details emerged about his intent to break a man's legs as punishment for abusing medical staff.
Toms was charged with using an offensive weapon with intent to commit a serious indictable offence and driving dangerously, with his solicitor Stephen Collins saying his client acted the way he did out of a "misguided sense of nobility".
Police statements tendered to court explain that Toms' anger was riled up when he heard another man yelling, swearing and abusing staff at a Bingara medical centre on March 24.
Confronting the man in the foyer, the court heard Toms said "there's women around, you can't talk like that", after telling his doctor that no-one should have to put up with that behaviour.
Toms told the angry man he'd "put a bullet in his head", to which the man allegedly responded "come here, what are you going to do to me?"
The police statements outline Toms then left the medical centre, feeling the anger build up inside himself.
He stopped at a shop to buy a pick handle for $39, saying to the attendant words to the effect of "I'll teach him". He told police in an interview later that he had intended to break the man's legs.
To take the law into his own hands this way is totally unacceptable and undermines people's right to feel safe.Magistrate Holly Kemp
Magistrate Holly Kemp then described the situation as "escalating well and truly", when Toms returned to the medical centre to find police outside talking to his intended victim.
Getting out of the car and walking towards the group with the pick handle poised and ready to strike, she said Toms returned to his car when an officer readied a taser and warned him to drop the weapon.
But getting behind the wheel, the court heard Toms then drove straight at his victim, hitting him with enough force to throw him over a metre-high fence.
Magistrate Kemp said what she read presented an "alarming and concerning set of facts".
Mr Collins agreed the incident was "concerning in every aspect". He told the court that Toms had adopted something of a "loner persona" and had very little interaction with the community.
"It's a misplaced nobility on his part," Mr Collins submitted to the court.
Sergeant Marieka Wilkins told the court Toms had armed himself, and then took the opportunity in the car to increase the offence.
"I appreciate Mr Collins' submissions that he thought he was acting honourably... but it was completely disproportionate," she said.
Magistrate Kemp gave Toms an overall sentence of one year in jail, eligible for parole on December 16.
She found special circumstances for his mental health, his first time in prison and his need for supervision upon his release on parole.
"Saying it was a 'misguided sense of nobility' well and truly understates the offending," she said.
"To take the law into his own hands this way is totally unacceptable and undermines people's right to feel safe."
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