A Grafton man has been convicted of a 2017 stabbing of his neighbour after a noise complaint.
A Grafton man has been convicted of a 2017 stabbing of his neighbour after a noise complaint.

Man faces court over noise complaint stabbing

A former Grafton man has been convicted over a 2017 stabbing attack after a complaint over noise at a residential unit complex turned violent.

Robert John McDonald appeared in Grafton District Court yesterday where he was sentenced after pleading guilty to reckless wounding.

The court heard that on the afternoon of August 28, 2017, McDonald was at his home and living in the same unit complex as the victim.

According to the agreed facts, the victim was making a considerable amount of noise that resulted in a complaint being made to the police.



Following the departure of officers over the complaint, the court heard the victim began to yell and abuse McDonald under the assumption that is was he who called the police on the victim.

The court heard the victim went to McDonald's unit and continued to abuse him, and attempted to grab the handle of his unit door and pull it open.

During the argument the court heard McDonald grabbed a knife, opened the door and stabbed the man twice, once in the chest and once in the back.

Court documents reveal the wounds were enough to cause the victim a collapsed lung, and he was placed in an induced coma for more than a week after the attack.

In court on Monday McDonald's barrister said his client was provoked at the time of the assault by the victim, and a psychology reported tendered to the court stated that while McDonald felt extreme anger and pain at the time of the incident he had no intention to stab the victim, but rather the assault was an impulse.

The Crown prosecutor submitted to the court that the sentence assessment report showed McDonald had "no remorse" for his actions and that it was "very difficult" for the court not to find the threshold for imprisonment was not reached given the seriousness of the wounds caused to the victim.

In reaching his sentence Judge Jonathon Priestley said McDonald's age and serious health conditions were an important consideration. Now 66, the court heard McDonald was suffering from prostate cancer, emphysema and vertigo, and needed a walker in order to move as a result of a degenerative hip injury.

The court heard that complicating matters further was the fact that McDonald had relocated to Bethania, south of Brisbane, for medical treatment, and an intensive correction order would not be enforced in Queensland.

McDonald's barrister said his client had moved there shortly after the assault, as part of his bail conditions required that McDonald not live in Grafton, and rather than travel south to be closer to medical services he moved north of the border.

"His health dictates that his treatment regime is established and he can't simply come back to this jurisdiction," McDonald's barrister said.

The Crown prosecutor submitted that while it would be an inconvenience for McDonald to relocate back to NSW for a potential sentence, "so is a punctured lung and a week in a coma".

Ultimately, given McDonald's declining health and frailty, Judge Priestley opted for a sentence that would see McDonald remain in the community and in Queensland, noting that his risk of violent reoffending was low.

McDonald was sentenced to a two-year community correction order.