Innocent bystanders target of terrifying road rage incident
INNOCENT bystanders targeted in a terrifying road-rage incident could suffer the after-effects for life, according to Magistrate Kathy Crittenden.
Cody Harrison Cromelin, 31, avoided a jail term when he pleaded guilty in Grafton Local Court on Monday to committing an offence Ms Crittenden said would have "lifelong effects" on his victims.
The court was told two people attempted to stop Cromelin, who was driving erratically in South Grafton, for fear he would harm others on the road.
"According to the facts this enraged you," Ms Crittenden said.
"You got out of your car ranting and raving with a flick knife by your side."
Ms Crittenden said according to police facts the victims were "too petrified to say anything" and a passer-by called the police as Cromelin returned to his car and drove off.
"It was a momentary incident for you, but that momentary incident has a lifelong effect on the victims," Ms Crittenden said.
The court was told police searched Cromelin's home in the wake of the incident and discovered a set of knuckledusters that were not related to the incident.
The Grafton man was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment served in the community, including 100 hours community service after pleading guilty to charges of going armed with knife with intent to commit an indictable offence, and possession of the flick knife and knuckledusters.
Ms Crittenden said Cromelin's proven history of "willingness to participate in intervention" - including completing a rehabilitation program several years ago - was a saving feature that kept him from custody.
Cromelin's solicitor, Michael Lantis, submitted to the court his client had been coming down from using drugs around the time of the incident and believed the victims had "put a finger up at him".
"Upon reflection he made a full admission," Mr Lantis said.
Mr Lantis told the court his client had suffered enduring problems associated with methamphetamine use which he had taken up as a way to "push his feelings away" after his father died five years ago.
He said Cromelin maintained a close relationship with his mother who was in court for the sentencing.