Long-running Orchard Grove Road dispute ends in fractured skull

A SHOCKING neighbourhood dispute where a man was struck in the head with a piece of timber has left his attacker with a three-year jail sentence.

Lawrence Mark Wallace, 47, was given a non-parole period of 18 months in Orange District Court on Tuesday for inflicting grievous bodily harm on June 17. 

According to police, Wallace was hosing a dirt patch outside the Orchard Grove Road home he shared with his partner, which upset his male neighbour because dirt hit his utility.

CCTV footage screened in court showed the neighbour approaching Wallace with a strap, trying to hit him with the buckle.

The neighbour then left his house in the utility before Wallace struck the vehicle with a piece of timber, smashing the passenger-side window, then approached the driver’s side and hit the neighbour in the head.

The victim could be seen lying on the ground as bystanders rushed in to help. 

He was left with a fractured skull, which the court heard he had not completely recovered from. 

Wallace’s partner, Tracey Williams, gave evidence she had lived in the house for the past 13 years and Wallace had lived with her for four.

She said she had experienced problems with the victim, who she said regarded himself as the “king of Glenroi”, from “day one” and the victim had often racially vilified Wallace. 

Public defender Ian Nash said aside from the latest incident, his client had not committed any offences for almost 10 years, he had developed a close relationship with Ms Williams’ grandchildren, which he regarded as his own, and he had started a handyman business and was employing other people. 

But solicitor for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ben Page, said Wallace had a history of 19 violent offences, including a sexual assault.

Judge Julia Baly found Wallace had good prospects of rehabilitation and there had been provocation prior to the incident, but a custodial sentence was required and he needed help to address his drinking.

Wallace will be eligible for release in December.