Grafton Court House
Grafton Court House Caitlan Charles

87-year-old man assaulted while he slept in his bed

A 40-YEAR-old South Grafton man who allegedly beat his step-grandfather while he slept has been refused bail.

Douglas William Carney appeared in Grafton Local Court yesterday, where he pleaded guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The court heard Mr Carney had assault the man, aged 87, on Sunday and had to be hauled off his victim by other family members.

In recommending against bail for Mr Carney, the police prosecutor said the assault had been particularly violent and the man's colostomy bag had been dislodged during the altercation.

"There is an anticipation of a term of imprisonment for this charge," the prosecutor said.

"There are a number of convictions on Mr Carney's record for matters of violence as well as breaches of court orders."

Mr Carney's solicitor, Michael Lantis, said Mr Carney had been attending mental health clinics but had missed some recent visits, which resulted in him missing doses of drugs that he used for treatment.

He said a number of members of Mr Carney's family had died recently, which had led him to drink more heavily than he had in the past.

Mr Lantis said his client would comply with any AVO restrictions, ensure he received all the medication he needed to treat his mental health conditions and work with officers at the Aboriginal Legal Service at South Grafton.

Magistrate Kathy Crittenden was unconvinced by the defence submissions.

She said the details of the assault were shocking.

"The victim was medically very vulnerable and prior to the assault went to bed and was asleep," Ms Crittenden said.

"He woke to find the accused straddled across him punching him to the body and head.

"Other members of the family came in and saw Carney punching the victim and pulled him off the victim."

Ms Crittenden said on the basis of the facts there was a reasonable chance Mr Carney would be found guilty and it was almost inevitable a custodial sentence would result.

She said given the accused's record of breaching court orders she had little confidence she could impose orders that could guarantee the safety of the victim or the community.

"I would have very significant concerns for the protection of the victim," she said.

She adjourned Mr Carney's case until December 16.



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