'He’s been the victim of a similar assault': Abdi

STICKY SITUATION: An assault, heard in Orange Local Court, has led an Orange man to consider his future with his family.

STICKY SITUATION: An assault, heard in Orange Local Court, has led an Orange man to consider his future with his family.

WILLIAM James Edwards has been sentenced to 150 hours’ community service for hitting a man with a stick. 

The 39-year-old Jilba Street man faced Orange Local Court on Monday, charged with assault and being armed with intent. 

According to police, the victim was standing on his Barrett Street lawn at about 4.15pm on December 8 when Edwards began yelling at him, saying “I’ll f***in’ knock you out and stab you”.

The victim went inside and Edwards continued yelling and threatened to burn down the house.

The victim then went to his car, but Edwards swung a two-metre long stick towards it and when the victim tried to calm him down, Edwards hit him on the arm before leaving.

The victim’s cousin witnessed the altercation and followed Edwards to another Barrett Street house before Edwards re-emerged with a metal pole and bat, saying “I’ll chop your head off”.

Police arrived at the scene and when officers spoke to the accused, he told them he thought the victim and witness were coming after him so he wanted to “get in first”.

He was arrested, while the victim was treated at Orange Health Service for soft tissue damage.

In court, solicitor Nidal Abdi said his client had taken up alcohol at the age of 14, but had completed the MERIT program to address his alcohol issues and the court could be confident he would continue to abstain.

“He tells me he has abstained since the commission of this offence,” he said.

“His partner gave him an ultimatum to the effect of ‘it’s either alcohol or me and the children’ and he made the decision the people in his life are more important than alcohol.”

Mr Abdi said his client could not remember the incident due to his level of intoxication but wanted to apologise to the victim.

“He’s been the victim of a similar assault and can understand how it would have made the victim feel,” he said. 

During sentencing, magistrate Terry Lucas said if there was anything good to come out of the offence, it had been to make Edwards stop drinking.

“It doesn’t help and it affects relationships with the people you love,” he said. 

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