GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Years of frustration were unleashed on the former council CEO David Keenan.
GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Years of frustration were unleashed on the former council CEO David Keenan.

Man pleads guilty to assaulting former SDRC CEO David Keenan

A KILLARNEY man has claimed a frustrating six years of unresolved complaints to the Southern Downs Regional Council drove him to the assault of former chief executive David Keenan.

Warwick Magistrates Court was told that Peter Lesley Smith became "agitated" while visiting the SDRC's Warwick chambers in late February, swearing loudly and banging his cane on a door with "a large amount of force".

The court also heard that the 61-year-old grabbed then-CEO David Keenan around the neck, threatened to hit another council employee with his walking stick, and briefly struggled with a police officer who had tried to intervene.

Lawyer Peter Sloane said while Smith conceded to "losing it" during the altercation, the frustration stemmed from dozens of unresolved complaints about incorrect rates charges and dog attacks on his own small dog.

"It's been a common thing over a six-year period," Mr Sloane said.

"On a couple of occasions, he's actually bent his cane from beating off one of the dogs when he'd had enough."

Magistrate Julian Noud acknowledged that while Smith showed "genuine remorse", had a short criminal history, and co-operated fully with police, his conduct would not be tolerated by the court.

"However, to take your frustrations to the council chambers in the way that you have simply cannot be tolerated," Magistrate Noud said.

"A sentence that sends a strong message to you and the community is called for in the circumstances."

Smith was convicted of one count of common assault, one count of assaulting a police officer, one count of threatening violence with a weapon, and one count of committing a public nuisance.

He was fined $600 and his conviction was not recorded.



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