Brain injury factor in pattern of violent behaviour
A 22-YEAR-OLD man with a record of serious violence offences and non-compliance with court orders has been given the chance to serve his sentence in the community.
Dennis Adrian Currie appeared in Grafton Local Court on Tuesday where he was sentenced for assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company of others, damage property, custody of knife in public and two charges of stalk/intimidate intend fear of physical harm.
The court heard Currie was on seven suspended jail sentences when he committed an unprovoked assault on an elderly man as he was leaving a Maclean club last year.
On January 25 last year Currie was with two other men at the Maclean Bowling Club when they were asked to leave at around 8.45pm. The three men left and went to a park near the club's carpark. Later that night the victim, a man in his 70s, walked through the carpark, and Currie yelled to him "hey you racist c---". CCTV footage showed Currie and the two other men approach the victim, who pushed one of the men away. The victim was then punched in the head by Currie and one other man, who both then fled.
Magistrate Kathy Crittenden said the victim was making his way home at the time and was not known to Currie.
The court heard that Currie was not charged for the assault until March 5, 2019, and he had suffered a serious brain injury when he was hit by a car the previous month, on February 23.
The following year on April 26 the court heard that Currie had been given a lift to a location by a family member, but when they arrived he began abusing the victim. When he got out he started to kick the driver's side door before taking out a knife and telling the victim "I'm going to put this through your heart".
A month later on May 8 another family member found Currie in the driveway of their home armed with a 19cm knife.
Ms Crittenden said the offences were serious, and aggravated by the fact Currie was on seven suspended jail sentences at the time of the first offence on January 25 last year. Ms Crittenden said prior to the brain injury Currie had a record that disclosed serious violence and noncompliance with court orders but his age and the brain injury meant he was particularly vulnerable and in need of significant assistance.
The magistrate also acknowledged there were clear special circumstances in the case due to Currie's brain injury which had caused cognitive impairment and required ongoing therapy and rehabilitation.
Ms Crittenden called up the seven suspended jail terms previously imposed and sentenced Currie to nine months behind bars, with a non-parole period of three months backdated to May 8.
For the balance of the charges Currie was convicted and sentenced to a 12 month intensive corrections order.