Daily Examiner

Court told of threat to kill boy in 'Wild West' attack

A 13-YEAR-old boy was threatened with a knife and told if he moved he would be killed, Grafton Local Court was told yesterday.

In a case Magistrate David Heilpern compared to events in the "Wild West", it was alleged five men drove to a Grafton home to settle the score after one of them was "beaten up" at a party the week before.

The court heard at 10.30pm on July 4 this year, the men drove to a home in Hoof St, Grafton and assaulted two men aged 18 and 20 years old.

It was alleged the men forced their way into the house, knocked the two men to the ground and proceeded to kick them.

"I was on the ground, in the fetal position, getting booted," one of the victims told the court.

One of the accused is alleged to have turned to a 13-year-old boy, a victim's brother, and brought out a 20cm knife.

"I said if anything is going to happen I just don't want to get hurt," the young boy testified.

The boy then said one of the accused produced the knife and said "don't move or I'll kill you".

The first of the men to face court, 25-year-old Neville McGrady of Malabulgimah, pleaded not guilty to assault occasioning grievous bodily harm and affray.

McGrady denied hitting anyone and said he only went along to ensure it was a fair fight.

Mr Heilpern found McGrady guilty on both charges.

He acknowledged it was difficult to establish McGrady's exact role in the assault, but said his presence alone and the fact several witnesses said he threw at least one punch satisfied him McGrady was part of the assault.

"This is 21st century Grafton, not the Wild West, and people are entitled to feel safe in their own homes," Mr Heilpern said.

He noted the trauma the young boys went through while having to watch their older brother being beaten.

McGrady was sentenced to 12 months' jail for the offence.

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