Darryl Dighton left another man permanently paralysed from the waist down after he repeatedly ran him over with his car.
Darryl Dighton left another man permanently paralysed from the waist down after he repeatedly ran him over with his car.

Australia Day sausage fight ends in attempted murder

A MAN who started an Australia Day sausage snafu that ended with another man paralysed from the waist down after he repeatedly ran him over with his car has admitted deliberately trying to kill him.

Darryl Dighton, 49, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court to aggravated assault and attempted murder following the January 26 "showdown".

Crown prosecutor Stephen Geary said Dighton didn't know James Tickle, but was a friend of his partner when he drove to his Acacia Hills property at about midday to "borrow" some meat for dinner.

Finding no one home, Dighton helped himself to steak and sausages from Mr Tickle's freezer before fishtailing out of his driveway and driving off.

After a few drinks at home with a mate, Dighton returned to the Acacia Hills property to let the occupants know he'd taken the meat, but when they still weren't home he fishtailed away again.

After he returned home, Dighton's wife started receiving text messages about the missing meat and skid marks, calling him a "grub" and challenging him to come back over and make amends.

When he got back to the property, Dighton saw Mr Tickle standing on the side of the road armed with a metal pole and wooden club. He got out of his Nissan Navara, yelling at him to drop the weapons and to "fight like a man".

In the ensuing scuffle, Mr Trickle hit Dighton on the head with the club several times before Dighton yelled out, "He just hit me with a stick, jump into the vehicle and I'll drive over the c***".

Dighton then ran back to his ute and drove over Mr Tickle, reversed back and then accelerated over him again while he was lying on the ground, and then reversed back over him.

The court heard Mr Tickle was flown to Adelaide for emergency surgery for his "catastrophic injuries" and was now a paraplegic who had likely permanently lost the use of his legs.

Mr Geary said while neither man was "covered in glory" after the incident, the terrible consequences suffered by Mr Tickle called for a substantial jail sentence.

"The victim perhaps didn't deal with the matter as one would hope," he said.

"If someone comes onto your property without permission taking items, you either let it go or you call the police - this showdown is not what the community would want."

Dighton's barrister, Peter Maley, said his client had very little recollection of the fight but accepted what police said had happened and had expressed his remorse.

"(He) was emotional and couldn't believe what he did, and he said, in fairness, 'I deserve to be punished'," he said.

"It's a situation where he has lost his temper, he's clearly become so enraged after being struck with the baton he got in his car and did what he did.

"That's what happened. It's a complete and absolute tragedy."

Dighton will return to court for sentencing on November 6.

Originally published as Australia Day sausage snafu ended in attempted murder, paralysis



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