Coodanup man who approached neighbour armed with baseball bat found guilty of causing fear

Stock image.
Stock image.

AN ELDERLY Coodanup man who approached his neighbour armed with a baseball bat pleaded guilty to causing fear in Mandurah Magistrates Court today.

Leslie Gilbert Penny armed himself with the baseball bat because his neighbour was painting over graffiti on his fence.

Police Prosecutor Neville Palmer said the former fisherman had reported graffiti on his fence to police on November 24, 2017, the night before the offence.

The next day, Penny noticed his neighbour painting over the graffiti.

Police said Penny went to grab a baseball bat and approached his neighbour, with the bat in hand, intending to causing fear .

The incident was filmed and Penny was later arrested.

Police asked Penny why he scared his neighbour by holding the bat and he said he was “protecting” himself.

Defence lawyer Rosie Myers said Penny assumed his neighbour was the person responsible for the graffiti on his fence.

Ms Myers said Penny had a fallout with neighbours previously and “things kept happening” on his property.

Defence said Penny believed his neighbour owned the same paint used initially to graffiti his fence.

Ms Myers said Penny understood he should have called police again and he was “foolish” for going out and confronting his neighbour.

Penny was concerned as the video of the incident had been posted on YouTube and he had received ongoing harassment .

Defence said Penny was a prior good character and hoped to be granted a spent conviction on the charge.

Magistrate Anne Longden accepted Penny’s behaviour arose out of “intense frustration” and protection of his house.

“However, it’s obviously not a way to deal with problems,” she said.

Ms Longden said on the basis Penny had prior good character and was unlikely to reoffend again, she fined him with a six-month suspended $800 fine.

She also granted Penny a spent conviction order.

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