World War II veteran attacked
GODFATHER Rex Montford, 86, was pushed over by his beloved godson in an unprovoked attack, leaving the Word War II digger with a broken hip.
This week, Mr Montford, faced his young attacker in Lismore Local Court and although still recovering from his injuries, with weekly physiotherapy and having to use a walking frame, the elderly gentleman made it clear he forgave his godson and bore no grudges.
The Evans Head senior citizen’s godson, Craig McDonald, 25, at the urging of the magistrate, stood in the dock and publicly apologised for his nasty handiwork by saying: “I’m very sorry Rex for what I caused.
“I appreciate you for not hating me for it and I’m sorry.”
“Thank you Craig,” replied the frail former professional fisherman.
“I honestly don’t think the boy meant to do what he did,” Mr Montford told Magistrate Robyn Denes.
McDonald, from Woodburn, pleaded guilty to recklessly causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Montford; use of an offensive weapon with intent; possession of an implement to enter and drive a motor vehicle (screwdriver); and possession of a small amount of cannabis.
On June 22, McDonald, while straddling the elderly man on the ground and holding a screwdriver, had yelled out ‘Dad watch me finish him off’ as his frightened godfather pleaded, ‘Don’t stab me’.
Police facts revealed McDonald ran into his godfather’s home (where the accused’s father also was) and grabbed a red screwdriver before forcing it into the starter barrel and attempting to start Mr Montford’s red Toyota Hilux.
When Mr Montford approached the Hilux McDonald deliberately hit him with the ute door knocking him backwards.
Holding the screwdriver he grabbed his godfather with both hands and pushed him backwards causing him to fall and break his hip.
McDonald then jumped on him and made the threat to ‘finish him off’ as he straddled him on the ground.
Defence lawyer James Fuggle said the men’s relationship went back to when his client was a baby and McDonald had also lived in Mr Montford’s home.
“The relationship up until this event has always been close,” Mr Fuggle said. “His (McDonald’s) biggest problem is alcohol.
“When alcohol is involved things happen. He has been dry since going into custody and taking counselling with regard to his alcohol abuse which has been very beneficial. He has very little recollection of these incidents.”
Ms Denes jailed McDonald for two years, with a non-parole of 12 months, saying he did not just have a problem withalcohol, but with controlling himself.
She told him he had to stop drinking and that his first time in jail could prove to be ‘a wake-up call’ and a turning point to change his behaviour, with previous offences of assault and behaving in an offensive manner.