WHEN Donald McConnell unleashed a tirade of abuse and spat at a disabled man on a mobility scooter while he was trying to take his garbage out, the victim recorded the incident on his mobile phone.
On Thursday in Orange Local Court McConnell, 48, was convicted and placed on a good behaviour bond for 12 months for the assault and fined $200 for the offensive language charge. He pleaded guilty to both offences,
The incident occurred in October last year when McConnell and the victim were neighbours in a social housing development in Torpy Street.
The court heard McConnell was sitting on the back step of his unit just after lunchtime on October 8 last year when the victim went past on his mobility scooter to put a bag of rubbish in a bin on the footpath.
The court heard McConnell yelled out at the victim: “You piece of f...ing shit, you f...ing dog, get the f... away from my yard,” before grabbing hold of the back of the victim’s mobility scooter and trying to push it over.
After the victim got back to his unit McConnell stood outside hurling more abuse.
McConnell’s solicitor Rebecca McIlveen told the magistrate, Terry Lucas, her client conceded he was intoxicated at the time of the offences but had tried to mend his ways since the incident.
“He has not had a drop of alcohol since January,” Ms McIlveen said.
She said a mining accident in 1995 had left a devastating effect on her client who sustained a severe back injury and is now on a disability pension and unable to work.
Ms McIlveen said her client’s inability to work had sent him into a spiral of drinking heavily and his behaviour on the day of the offences was uncharacteristic and he had limited capacity to pay a fine.
Mr Lucas wasn’t impressed with McConnell’s behaviour.
“But you do have enough money to buy alcohol,” he said.
“If you had any further antecedents [criminal record] I would be sending you to jail.”