Man could be jailed over units mayhem
A Margaret River man was told he might be jailed, after pleading guilty to charges of assault occasioning bodily harm and criminal damage.
On Monday, Christopher Edward Bruce faced Margaret River Magistrate’s Court over an incident on December 2 last year at a Station Road unit.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Greg Ward said Bruce approached the unit at about 10pm and struck the occupant on the nose when he answered the door. Sgt Ward said Bruce grabbed the victim “forcibly” by the throat and the man staggered and fell backward, breaking a glass panel.
Sgt Ward said Bruce fled the scene and later gave a no-comment interview to police, while the victim was taken to Margaret River Hospital with soft-tissue damage and a broken nose.
Bruce was also charged with criminal damage at a separate Station Road unit on December 23 at about 10.30pm.
The court was told Bruce was known to the occupants and threw a rock through the window when he was refused entry.
Legal Aid lawyer Ntuthuko Mcingolwane requested a psychiatric report and said Bruce believed “things had been going missing from his unit” before the December 2 assault.
Mr Mcingolwane said Bruce “observed the victim wearing his pants — pants his mother had bought him” and was “stewing over it for an hour”.
He said Bruce went to the other unit on December 23 because he believed children were in danger, though he was unsure why.
“He said he was going to smash the window with his head if he had to,” the lawyer said.
Bruce showed remorse and regret for his actions and had stopped using methamphetamine last year, Mr Mcingolwane said. Magistrate Mark Millington said Bruce’s record noted “severe” anger management issues and a “predisposition to resort to violent behaviour”.
Sgt Ward asked that Bruce be taken into custody. “The community’s at risk if he’s out there how he is right now,” he said.
Mr Millington said there had been growing media attention and criticism of the courts for bail being granted to violent offenders and there was a 10 to 12week waiting period for psychiatric reports.
“Given your record, and given the seriousness of these offences, a term of imprisonment is a live option,” he said.
The case was adjourned and bail extended to May 1 for sentencing and a psychiatric report.