A Bowen couple has pleaded guilty to public nuisance after a brawl broke out in the middle of the street. Photo: Geoff Potter
A Bowen couple has pleaded guilty to public nuisance after a brawl broke out in the middle of the street. Photo: Geoff Potter

Neighbour dispute turns into full-blown Bowen street brawl

A NEIGHBOURHOOD dispute quickly escalated when three people wound up in a brawl in the middle of a Bowen street.

Ian Robert Williams and partner Janet Peta D'Arcy both faced Bowen Magistrates Court last week charged with public nuisance after the altercation in March.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Sarah Rowe said there had been an ongoing dispute between the couple and their neighbour across the road.

Before the brawl began, CCTV footage showed D'Arcy leaving her property and walk across the road to throw rocks at the front of their neighbour's home.

Sen-Constable Rowe claimed the neighbour then came out of his house with a wooden bat and a street brawl ensued.

The court heard the neighbour allegedly pushed D'Arcy, which prompted Williams to rush across the road.

Sen-Constable Rowe said Williams, 35, pushed his neighbour in the side of the head starting a scuffle in the middle of the road.


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Williams then went back to his house and came back with two bats, one in each hand, so another argument between him and the 51-year-old neighbour ensued.

The court heard all three people ended up back in the middle of the road and Williams hit the neighbour in the side of the head with the bat, causing him to fall to the ground.

Sen-Constable Rowe said both D'Arcy, 38, and the neighbour were injured in the incident and taken to Bowen Hospital.

Both Williams and D'Arcy pleaded guilty to one count of public nuisance.

The neighbour allegedly involved in the brawl was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm while armed as a result of the incident.

He pleaded not guilty during his court appearance last week and the matter was adjourned to September 29.

Duty lawyer Peta Vernon appeared for both Williams and D'Arcy, saying there had been an ongoing dispute with the neighbour.

Ms Vernon said on the day of the brawl, D'Arcy was hanging washing on the line when she saw a rock fly past her head.

"She has reacted quickly and badly and she accepts that," Ms Vernon said.


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Ms Vernon claimed the situation escalated quickly and alleged the neighbour hit D'Arcy on the arm with a bat.

"Mr Williams went back inside to arm himself because he was fearful," Ms Vernon said.

"The police have been called on many occasions and it all escalated into this big event.

"They accept that they had a choice in the situation, they felt at the time they didn't, and they've reacted and they've reacted badly."

Acting Magistrate Ron Muirhead said he accepted Williams was trying to protect his partner but his behaviour could have been handled better.

"You've got a history of being in court on various offences but they're different types of offences than here today," Mr Muirhead said.

Williams was placed on a three-month $400 good behaviour bond with a conviction recorded.

D'Arcy was fined $100 and the conviction was recorded.