MOWER RAGE: Casino Lawn Mower Clinic owner Sue Crabtree and husband Greg after their day in court following threats from an irate client. ross irby
MOWER RAGE: Casino Lawn Mower Clinic owner Sue Crabtree and husband Greg after their day in court following threats from an irate client. ross irby Ross Irby

Mower rage incident lands man in Casino court

A DISGRUNTLED Mallanganee man's lawn-mower rage cut deep and was 'so out of control it blew my mind that his anger could last so long', said terrified Casino businesswoman Susan Crabtree.

“I worked in pubs for many years, but it was the first time I ever felt threatened,” the Lawn Mower Clinic owner said yesterday.

“The aggression he was showing was horrendous. I tried to calm him down.”

Mrs Crabtree was recounting the events of November 28 last year when Colin Bartley abused her over the phone before confronting her and husband Greg at their shop.

In the process Bartley smashed the rear window of his Commodore station wagon with his ride-on mower.

Bartley, 41, pleaded guilty in Casino Local Court this week to the charges of stalking and intimidation causing fear, and offensive behaviour.

Magistrate Jeff Linden convicted Bartley, but did not impose a sentence, instead fining him $450 and placing him on a Section 9 bond not to reoffend for two years.

After reading the police facts, Mr Linden called Bartley's behaviour 'an absolute loss of control' and said his threats and the language used were intimidating.

Bartley had phoned the mower clinic that day swearing and abusing Mrs Crabtree, telling her he wanted to talk to her 'f...ing f...kwit mechanic'.

Then when she could not find the records of his mower service 11 months earlier, Bartley said: “If I have to come in I'll smack you in the mouth.”

When Mrs Crabtree replied: “That would be great, hitting a girl,” Bartley replied he would then hit her 'f...ing mechanic'.

Bartley drove to the shop 90 minutes later with his ride-on lawn-mower in the back of his station wagon, telling Mrs Crabtree to phone police.

He threw a plastic bottle of oil, hitting Mr Crabtree on the leg.

“You are scabs,” he yelled before dragging the heavy mower from the back of the wagon and dropping it on the ground.

Mr Crabtree said yesterday 'he was going off his head'.

“He just picked the ride-on mower up. It would have weighed 200kg and threw it on the ground.

“I had my eyeballs on him seeing what he would do, he definitely had issues.”

Mr Crabtree said when Bartley began putting the mower back in the wagon he helped him, eager to get rid of the angry man.

“He revved the car like a madman, slapped it into gear and I said to Sue 'get back that mower will go through the rear window',” he said.

Mr Crabtree said the mower rolled back smashing the glass window, which was sprayed over the driveway, and dented the tailgate.

Bartley drove to the police station and turned himself in.

The business had been in Mrs Crabtree's family for more than 30 years. She said 99 per cent of clients were 'a privilege and a joy' to deal with.



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