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25 June, 2021

Judge gives defendant a chance to get his life in order

A 43-year-old Cannonvale man has received a suspended sentence and supervision order after pleaded guilty in the Mackay District Court to punching and kicking a work colleague and then threatening to cut-off his arms off with a tomahawk that he brought into the office of his former workplace.

By John Bell

In passing judgement on Daniel James Burgess, Judge Ian Dearden said, “I can tell you quite frankly that that would have scared the living daylights of out me”.

“I’m sure it scared the living daylights out of him (the work colleague) and no doubt scared the living daylights out of your fellow work colleagues,” Judge Dearden said.

“The facts of the matter are pretty chilling.

“It’s an appalling way to seek to deal with a workplace dispute.

“We are all entitled to go about our business without you behaving in the way that you did.”

Judge Dearden added that he accepted that Burgess was under pressure and said, “I accept that you were misusing illegal drugs”.

“If this doesn’t send a message that amphetamines can do really stupid things to otherwise sensible people.

“There is your proof.”

In summing-up Judge Dearden mentioned a prior road rage offence resulting in a conviction causing a nuisance and traffic and other offences interstate.

Judge Dearden accepted that Burgess had apologised, shown remorse, pleaded guilty and had a good work history and had a job.

Then, Judge Dearden advised him ‘to stay off the drugs’ and handed down a sentence that he told the defendant, ‘would help you to get your life in order’.

“I am persuaded that a suspended sentence for assault causing bodily harm, plus a longer two-year supervision order for assault, which will last longer than parole, will have supervising conditions to assist you with psychological and drug counselling, if for whatever reason you fall off the wagon,” Judge Reardon said.  

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