'Stocky' youth punches 72-year-old over bicycle dispute

A GRIEVING elderly man clearing his partner's home after her death was confronted by youths who threw rocks at his car.

Feeling harassed, he called police and refused to give back a bicycle until officers arrived.

Stockily-built Matthew David Daly, 33, turned up at the Leichhardt property and punched the 72-year-old man in the face when he refused to return the bicycle.

Daly was charged with serious assault for the December 17, 2016, attack and had been held in custody nearly three months when he went before Ipswich Magistrates Court this week.

Daly pleaded guilty to seriously assaulting a person aged over 60; trespass; stealing; dealing with shop goods, enter premises by break; obtaining a restricted drug; and two counts of possession of dangerous drugs.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Carl Spargo said Daly was arrested on November 12.

His offending included trespassing when he refused to leave the City View Motel after he gained entry to a room and stayed the night. He stole security cameras.

Snr Constable Spargo said the youths interfered and threw rocks at the victim's car as he worked on the deceased woman's house.

One youth left a bicycle inside the yard and the victim refused to give it back. Daly punched him. He then grabbed the bicycle and walked away. The man was not seriously injured.

Snr Constable Spargo said Daly had an eight-page criminal history that included assaults, stealing, drug offences, and previous jail sentences.

Defence lawyer Claire Greer-Wilson said Daly had worked as a cleaner and in a meatworks, and suffered mental health issues.

At the age of 11, he'd been introduced to drugs and by 13 was using ice but is now attending the Ipswich Dosing Centre.

Ms Greer-Wilson said the assault took place in the context of a neighbourhood dispute involving children.

But magistrate Louisa Pink said she could not attribute any blame to the man as he had been tidying up a property at the time when rocks were thrown.

Ms Pink noted the age difference and the size of Daly and said the offence was serious because of the frail age of the victim "suffering physical violence at your hands".

She told Daly he needed to to address his drug issues.

"Get off the drugs if you want a different future. If not successful, you may inevitably come back before the court," she said.

Daly was on parole at the time. He was convicted and sentenced to 12 months' jail for the serious assault, and lesser terms for other offences.

With time served, he will be eligible to apply for parole on April 12.

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