A man will remain behind bars for at least seven months after being jailed for defacing the silos at Delungra with "extremely offensive" graffiti, and threatening neighbours with two machetes after they refused his request to purchase drugs.
Delungra's Jesse Paul James O'Neill, 26, was sentenced at Inverell Local Court on Thursday for being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence; affray; and destroy/damage property. Also included in the sentence were charges for possessing prohibited drug and breaching an AVO with a domestic violence-related common assault from another unrelated matter.
When Magistrate Holly Kemp expressed her concerns over O'Neill's escalating offending, his solicitor, Stephen Collins, said his client blamed the behaviour on his "boredom" in the small village.
"He's said to me ... 'there's only so much gardening you can do'," Mr Collins submitted.
The statements tendered to court outlined police had received a tip-off that O'Neill had been responsible for spray-painting the silos at Delungra with what the magistrate labelled "offensive" terms against police.
Video footage was supplied of O'Neill defacing the GrainCorp property at 10am on January, 24. He had also allegedly posted photos on Snapchat and distributed them on social media.
Taking full ownership of the damage, he explained to police what the "slang" terms meant, and that the '1995' and '2500' sprayed alongside the derogatory terms were his birth year and childhood postcode respectively.
Police statements outlined another incident, on February 9, occurred when O'Neill walked to a nearby house where a group of friends were having a gathering, and called out, "I want to buy a quarter off you".
When they informed him they didn't sell "dope", O'Neill said: "I'll come back down here and chop you c***s up". Within minutes, O'Neill returned yelling, and brandishing two machetes, one in each hand.
After being chased for about 20 metres by the victim's dog and throwing one machete away, the police facts outlined O'Neill was punched by the victim several times in self defence, with police attributing the assault to "adrenaline" and "fear" of O'Neill getting another weapon to use against them.
While Mr Collins began submitting that the police may have been "a little generous" with the victim's behaviour, Magistrate Kemp said she was "not surprised" considering O'Neill had armed himself with two machetes.
Magistrate Kemp said general deterrents were not an appropriate consideration in sentencing, given O'Neill's mild intellectual disability, but what was paramount was "community protection" which could not be mitigated with a release order.
For all charges, he was sentenced to an overall term of imprisonment for 14 months starting from his arrest date on April 24, with a non-parole period of seven months.
She noted the need for supervision upon his release for rehabilitation and community protection.
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