14 June 2010

Truckie jailed for metal bar fight at Weeroona Hotel Goodna

A TRUCK driver has been jailed after bashing a woman in the face with a metal bar to stop her attacking his wife.

Dale Michial Shingles admitted in Ipswich District Court charges of grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning bodily harm while armed.

Despite claiming he attacked the woman to defend his wife, who suffered a fractured pelvis, the 47-year-old will spend the next six months behind bars.

Crown prosecutor Sal Vasta said Shingles' wife Karen Leslie, 44, and Joanne Whitfield, 35, began arguing at Weeroona Hotel in Goodna about getting their daughters home in a taxi.

Eventually the women and their friends left the pub and drank alcohol in the car park on April 22 last year.

Mr Vasta said Ms Whitfield's brother Ricky, 40, encouraged the women to fight, saying "they should take care of business".

Soon afterwards the women began fighting and Ms Whitfield was on top of Ms Leslie punching her in the head when Shingles came out of the hotel and grabbed a metal bar from his truck.

Mr Vasta said Shingles hit Ms Whitfield once and then swung the bar at her brother but Ricky stepped aside and the bar again connected with her face.

Ms Whitfield collapsed unconscious on the ground and Shingles chased Mr Whitfield with the bar, hitting him a few times before jumping in his truck and leaving with his wife.

Mr Vasta said Ms Whitfield suffered a facial fracture in the attack and had surgery to correct nasal issues.

Mr Whitfield was treated at Ipswich Hospital to a cut to the back of his head which required stitches.

But the court heard Shingles' wife also allegedly suffered injures in the incident and sought medical treatment for a pelvis fracture and was given crutches but did not follow up with her doctor's appointments.

Mr Vasta said a police investigation was still open into the alleged assault on Ms Leslie.

Shingles was sentenced to three years jail and 18 months jail, to be served concurrently, and will be released on parole after six months.

Defence barrister Steve Kissick said his client had initially grabbed the bar so he could bang it against an industrial bin and scare people away.

Mr Kissick said Shingles believed he only hit Ms Leslie with the bar once when he had tried to hit her brother.

"He falls into the unlawful side of trying to do the right thing and that's the sad thing about all of it," Mr Kissick said.

Judge Sarah Bradley told Shingles the incident was "unfortunate" and he should not have used the bar.

"You're entitled to go to your wife's assistance but the big mistake you made was going back to your truck and getting that bar," Judge Bradley said.

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