Workplace bullying victim snaps and attacks his tormentor
AFTER suffering months of workplace bullying, a Central Queensland train driver finally snapped and assaulted his oppressor and damaged his vehicle with golf balls.
Zane Robert Mcarthur, 32, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on July 13 to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm and two counts of wilful damage.
The court heard on October 15, 2019, Mcarthur had been drinking alcohol at Qri Pub in Coppabella before heading home between 7-8pm, where he continued to drink more alcohol.
About 9.30pm, in an intoxicated state, he went to the victim's house.
After hearing Mcarthur try to break in through a side window, the victim went out the backdoor and confronted the defendant.
Words were exchanged between the two and Mcarthur became physically violent with the victim.
Police prosecutor Casparus Schoeman said Mcarthur punched the victim repeatedly to the face and body.
Mr Schoeman said the victim suffered significant injuries, particularly to his left eye.
He said this was a planned attack.
The court heard that after assaulting the victim, Mcarthur went to the front of the house, picked up a number of golf balls and threw them at the victim's car.
Mr Schoeman said $10,000 restitution was sought regarding the damage to the vehicle.
Mcarthur's solicitor Jordan Ahlstrand said his client worked as a train driver for Queensland Rail National at the time of the offending.
Mr Ahlstrand said there was a workplace dispute between his client and the victim, which was first reported by his client on May 21, 2019.
He said 60 days later his client's manager set up a meeting, where his client stressed he did not want to work with the victim because he was experiencing ongoing bullying.
"Regrettably, those requests were not heeded," he said.
"His employment was terminated as a direct consequence of the offending."
He said, in a psychiatric report, his client met the criteria for the diagnosis of adjustment disorder with anxiety and depression.
He said, due to a reluctance to seek treatment for his anxiety and depression, his client would turn to substance abuse as a form of self-medication.
He said his client started drinking at 16 or 17, with regular episodic periods of binge drinking.
He said his client also started smoking marijuana at 17 or 18 and continued to use the drug recreationally.
"It is the episodic periods of binge drinking and recreational use of marijuana, together with his psychiatric antecedence that would explain why a person of otherwise good character finds themselves before the court for an offence of this nature," he said.
"He has sought help from AODS and is committed to his rehabilitation.
"He is deeply remorseful for his offending, and would like to apologise to the victim, the court and his family."
Since the offending last October, Mcarthur had suffered a significant physical injury and appeared in court in a wheelchair.
Mr Ahlstrand said earlier this year his client was driving up the Mount Morgan range in the rain when he took a comfort break and walked off the side of the range.
"He fell on his feet and fractured four vertebrae," he said.
"He will be mobile again."
He said his client committed to his rehabilitation and recovering from his physical injuries, with the goal of taking up employment with Pacific National as a train driver.
When discussing the cost of restitution, Mr Ahlstrand said his client was happy to pay, but argued the quote was "somewhat ambiguous".
Magistrate Philippa Beckinsale said she accepted the offending was out of character for Mcarthur.
"You were in a position where you were experiencing workplace bullying and harassment but at the end of the day you can't sort these matters out with your fists," she said.
"The prosecutor says this was planned, but I wouldn't put it in those terms.
"You were drunk and cogitated about the injustice to you and have lashed out at the person who has troubled you. It was in the spur of the moment, not something you plotted."
Mcarthur was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay $5000 restitution. Criminal convictions were recorded.