A FORMER prosecutor who went on a rampage in his Perth apartment block, assaulting three people and smashing doors with a tomahawk has been sentenced to intensive supervision.
James Newton-Palmer, 34, was extremely drunk on October 26 last year when he went into a frenzy, first smashing his own front door then a neighbour’s..
Later that evening, the methamphetamine user went to the ground floor and said to a man “what are you looking at?” before kicking him.
He then went to towards the gym, deliberately got in another man’s way and shoved him against the corridor wall.
That same night, as he left the building, he slapped a man’s face and kicked him, shouting that he wanted a fight as the man and his wife ran off.
About an hour later, as police were speaking with the three victims in the lobby, Newton-Palmer threatened them in front of other neighbours, shouting “I’m going to remember you, you and you. I’ll stab you in the face”.
He wasn’t armed at the time, the assaults left no physical harm, and while the tomahawk damage wasn’t witnessed, it was the most frightening aspect of the rampage, prosecutor Simon Freitag told Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday.
Defence counsel Seamus Rafferty said his client – now sober after being a “high-functioning alcoholic” who drank heavily every day – accepted his behaviour was “utterly outrageous”.
Mr Rafferty said it had been a big fall from grace for the father-of-two, who had been prosecuting serious cases but resigned from his job “probably jumping before he was pushed”.
The court heard he went into a downward spiral after divorcing the mother of his children, who he had not seen in more than two years, and the death of his father.
“He needed to reach this point so he could effectively bottom out,” Mr Rafferty said.
“This is a man who needs help.
“He was a good lawyer … hopefully that is something he’ll be able to resume”.
Mr Rafferty said his client had “scared the hell” out of his victims in a terrifying incident that he could not recall.
He was extremely remorseful, the lawyer said.
Magistrate Elizabeth Woods said the offending was unusual given Newton-Palmer’s former employment.
She fined him $500 for breaching bail, ordered him to pay $2371 in compensation for the door damage, plus court costs.
Under his 15-month intensive supervision order, Newton-Palmer will be monitored by a community corrections officer and must attend at least one program.