South Grafton man avoids jail after strangling his mother

A SOUTH Grafton man has escaped jail over two separate matters which involved him grabbing family members around the neck.

Darryl Wills, 27, appeared in Grafton Local Court yesterday on a plea of guilty to two counts of common assault and one of damage or destroy property.

The defence argued one of the common assault matters, in which he grabbed his brother around the neck during an argument on February 13 this year was more of an "aggravated wrestle".

Magistrate Robyn Denes, however, made it clear she was very concerned about the first offence on January 1, which arose from a confrontation with his mother after he claimed his mobile phone had been stolen.

According to police facts, Wills "placed his hands around the victim's neck and throat, applying an amount of pressure".

As he left the South Grafton house, the facts also stated that he punched holes in the walls of various rooms, threw a dirt bike tyre and wheel at a wall, causing damage, and kicked the letterbox in the front yard.

His mother was undergoing chemotherapy for leukaemia at the time of the offence.

"In both incidents you tried to strangle a family member, and the incident involving your mum was while she was going through chemo... over what is really a first world problem," Magistrate Denes said.

Where the magistrate sympathised with Wills, however, was his upbringing.

His defence solicitor had earlier noted that the 27-year-old had been in state care throughout much of his childhood, and developed an early dependence on alcohol and drugs as he used to be able to "come into town whenever he liked".

The court heard the father of two still struggled and was currently on the disability support pension for drug, alcohol and mental health issues.

"I do note your guilty plea... and having read the reports, you behaviour doesn't surprise me," Magistrate Denes said.

"You are an example of the damage done to children by parents because of something they're going through at the time."

Wills was convicted placed on a good behaviour bond for 18 months, with supervision and parole.

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