Convicted murderer on parole assaulted mum, child
A CONVICTED murderer was on parole in Gladstone when he attacked a mother and punched her child several times in their home over an item he found in his mailbox, a court has been told.
Andrew Lawerence Scott, 55, pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Friday to enter dwelling with intent/threaten violence, assault occasioning bodily harm and going armed to cause fear.
Scott was on a lifetime parole order after he was convicted for murder in June 1987 in Rockhampton Supreme Court.
For the offending Scott was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour, however he was released back into the community on parole in 2003.
The court was told up until June 11, 2018, Scott was performing well on his parole.
The court was told the offending took place in the unit complex where he and the victims lived.
Scott, the mother and her child were neighbours and known to each other.
The court was told there had been ongoing "neighbourhood issues" between residents at the units and on this day Scott had found an item "stuffed" in his mailbox.
Scott believed the person who put the item in his mailbox was the victim child so he went and spoke with the mother.
The mother denied her son's involvement. Scott became enrage and the pair began to verbally argue.
Scott pushed the woman's face with a closed fist, causing her to hit the brick wall behind her and fall to the ground.
The son came to the front door and told Scott to leave his mother alone.
Scott turned towards the child. The child was standing behind a closed screen door trying to close the main wooden door when Scott pushed through both doors and put his hands on the child's shoulders.
Scott pushed the child to the floor, walked over and punched him in the chest multiple times, the court was told.
The mother stood, grabbed a cup and threw it at Scott. She screamed at Scott to leave her son alone and to leave the apartment.
A week later on June 18 Scott was involved in another neighbourly dispute. The court was told it was about a garden hose.
During an argument with a resident he went back to his room and collected a metal baseball bat.
Defence lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield fought for her client to stay out of jail and asked magistrate Dennis Kinsella to give him a "fighting chance".
But Mr Kinsella said he believed a term of imprisonment with time behind bars was appropriate.
"He is on life parole for the most serious offence," Mr Kinsella said.
"He has killed another human being.
"And while subject to parole on that offence, has committed these offences."
The court was told Scott had a difficult upbringing and suffered several physical and mental health issues.
Mr Kinsella read aloud a report prepared by Scott's doctor, which provided insight to Scott's mental state.
The report stated Scott was never drug dependant and had no issues with alcohol consumption. It stated Scott suffered depression and anxiety and showed a "significant defect" in his communication and interaction skills.
Scott was unable to connect with others and suffered an impairment in understanding others, the report read.
The court was told Scott suffered a traumatic head injury that contributed to his ability to make decisions and his cognitive capacity.
The report stated Scott's risk of re-offending was low, however in an unfamiliar setting and when exposed to a hostile environment there were "significant risk factors".
Mr Kinsella said he could not risk releasing Scott into the community and imposed a nine-month head sentence with immediate parole eligibility to run concurrent with the life sentence.
As of Friday Scott would be able to apply for parole, however the court was told an application took a significant amount of time to prepare.
Mr Kinsella said Scott's release would be in the hands of the parole board.