Kuzma

Machete man behind bars after dispute over TV volume

AN ARGUMENT between neighbours over the volume of a television that escalated to threats of violence with a machete has landed a Maclean man behind bars.

Troy Gary Currie, 34, pleaded not guilty in Grafton Local Court to charges of being armed with a weapon with intent to threaten or intimidate his neighbour during an argument on November 22.

Giving evidence at Currie's hearing, the victim said he went out the back door of his unit to complain to Currie over the volume of his TV. When he walked outside he found Currie at the victim's back door holding a machete, and threatening to cut him "into little bits".

"He scared the living crap out of me," the victim said.

The victim said he feared for his safety and returned straight to his house and called the police.

According to police facts tendered to the court, police arrived at the Maclean property 15-20 minutes later and questioned the witness and Currie. Police said that Currie denied owning a machete, but when they conducted a search of the unit block they found a machete, along with other knives and a hatchet stashed in a bush.

When asked about the knives, Currie denied owning them, but when police asked if his fingerprints would be found on them he said they were in fact his.

In his evidence, Currie said the victim did approach him to ask him to turn his TV down, but denied using the machete to threaten the victim. Currie said he was using the machete to crush cans at the back of his house, and denied verbally threatening the victim.

When asked about the machete, Currie said he took it back inside and hid it along with the other knives and originally told police he didn't have a machete out of fear.

After hearing the evidence, Magistrate Karen Stafford said she found the witness to be honest and reliable, and that the prosecution case had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Ms Stafford said the offence was serious because it happened on the back doorstep of the victim's home, and found Currie guilty of being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence. Currie was also sentenced over an assault on the same victim on February 19, where he struck the victim in the head, causing his glasses to fall from his face.

Currie was sentenced to an aggregate term of 16 months, with a non-parole period of six months. Currie will be eligible for release at the end of this month.