Man jailed for assault at grandfather's wake

WHEN a family member is under threat from a drug dealer, most people would do almost anything to protect them.

But a Moura man who responded with violence is in jail after a jury found him guilty of grievous bodily harm last week.

The incident happened more than two-and-a-half years ago in Moura when a group of young people got together for the wake of defendant Brent Bevan Perry's grandfather.

Rockhampton District Court heard how victim Christopher Balfort arrived at the house carrying six cans of beer in a plastic shopping bag and was met at the door by Perry.

Perry accused Balfort of supplying heroin to his 16-year-old brother.

The two men's evidence conflicted at that point.

Balfort said he told Perry he "didn't do that s**t anymore".

Perry said Balfort told him "I'll give it to who I want, when I want, regardless of their age".

The court heard evidence from witness Blayze Gibson, who said he heard Balfort say he didn't do drugs and didn't want to leave.

But when defence for Perry, Doug Winning put it to Gibson that he had ongoing drug debts with Balfort, he simply said "yes".

In cross-examining Balfort, Mr Winning said, "Tell me this. What interest does a 34-year-old man have in going to a place frequented by teenagers and very young people?"

Balfort responded, "It does sound not too good at all, but I assumed I was going down to get money stolen off me back in early July."

Mr Winning also put it to Perry's cousin, Emma Perry, that the only interest Balfort had in Gibson was that he was selling him drugs.

She replied, "Probably".

The court heard that as the argument at the door heated up, it was Balfort who hit Perry over the head with the bag of beer.

Gibson said Balfort had tried to leave but Perry followed him and continued to argue, punching him in the face and ribs five or six times.

He said Balfort tripped as he tried to jump over a chain wire fence and Perry picked up the beers and began throwing them at him.

Balfort suffered a fractured jaw in the fight and was flown to Brisbane for surgery.

Crown prosecutor Dean Jones told the court that witness statements had varied due to the amount of alcohol consumed and witnesses had different perspectives and alliances.

The jury found Perry guilty and he was sentenced to 18 months in prison with parole set for six months.

Topics:  assault crime rockhampton

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