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Shop owner crushed old man's wrist over payment

Ian Peter Oram was found guilty of serious assault in Mackay Magistrates Court.
Ian Peter Oram was found guilty of serious assault in Mackay Magistrates Court. Lee Constable

AN elderly customer was left battered and bruised after being assaulted by a Mackay businessman in a payment dispute that rapidly deteriorated into violence.

Ian Peter Oram's attack on Emmett O'Brien, 70, left the pensioner with long-lasting soft tissue injuries, which Mackay Magistrates Court was told still had not healed.

Oram, 57, who owns Ian's RC Hobbies, was found guilty of serious assault of a person over 60 when he appeared before Magistrate Damien Dwyer on Thursday.

The incident occurred about 1.30pm on September 23, 2016.

Oram represented himself at the trial before Mr Dwyer, because he couldn't afford $5500 needed to pay his lawyer, the court was told.

Prosecutor Sheena Hayes called Mr O'Brien as a witness.

Mr O'Brien, who was wearing a brace on his left wrist, told the court he had been in Oram's shop talking about buying drone parts when a supposed debt of about $1400 was raised and the situation quickly spun out of control.

"He (Oram) then said to me I can afford to buy the (drone) controller, why couldn't I give him the money. It was at that point that he started to get agitated and I thought for everyone's sake it was better if I left the shop," O'Brien said.

"I was half in the car (parked outside the shop), with my hand on top of the door, and he used the door to jam me in the doorway of the car and then held me by the left hand and said he wouldn't let me go until I went back and signed the document. (He grabbed my hand) with considerable force to sprain the wrist. That hasn't healed.

"He told me he would hit me if I didn't go back inside and sign the document."

During the trial, Oram called three witnesses, two neighbours who live adjacent to his Shakespeare St, Mackay, shop and a friend.

Mr Dwyer said their testimony was not particularly helpful.

In the witness box, Oram denied he had assaulted Mr O'Brien, but did admit he "saw a little red" over money he claimed was outstanding for work on a drone.

"I called to him (Mr O'Brien) 'please come back and sort this out'. I went over to the car, I said to him 'I've been your mate, I've done the right thing, I've waited three years to be paid'."

Mr Dwyer said witnesses did nothing to corroborate Oram's version of events. He described Mr O'Brien's testimony as compelling.

He noted Oram had criminal history of a similar nature dating back at least two decades and recommended he seek help for anger management.

Mr Dwyer fined Oram $750. No conviction was recorded.

Topics:  assault court fine mackay mackay business mackay magistrates court


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