Robert Jamie Cleland (right) with his partner after an earlier court hearing.
Robert Jamie Cleland (right) with his partner after an earlier court hearing. NewsRegional

Fateful choice to pull knife in street fight

WHEN he opened the knife to stab the man he was fighting, Robert Jamie Cleland sealed his fate.

The Gladstone man was jailed for six years but went to Queensland Court of Appeal to protest the length of that sentence.

Pandemonium erupted after the father of five Cleland intervened in an argument his girlfriend had with a man.

The January 2016 Barney Point dispute started over a ute, the appeal court said, in a judgment delivered on Tuesday.

Cleland, now 48, pursued the other man, Peter Wilson, whacking him with a hockey stick.

The other man fought back and smashed Cleland in the head with a baton.

But then Cleland stabbed Mr Wilson in the arm and abdomen, telling him "I'm going to kill you".

In March 2017, a jury found Cleland guilty of grievous bodily harm and unlawful wounding.

Cleland was imprisoned with no chance of parole before March 9, 2020.

The Court of Appeal said aggravating features were that Cleland intended to both wound and do GBH by opening the knife.

Justice David Boddice said during the wild street fight, Cleland behaved with "a sense of vigilantism".

Cleland must have felt the knife puncture Mr Wilson's torso and was "callous" in leaving the stabbed man and offering no help, Justice Boddice added.

But the court was also told Cleland's case had some mitigating features.

Cleland had a lengthy employment history, was in a long term relationship and had taken rehabilitation courses, including anger management.

The judge said issues at trial included whether Cleland acted in self-defence against a provoked assault, and whether his response was disproportionate. 

Justice Boddice said Mr Wilson suffered a consequent partial collapse of the lung, and Cleland afterwards showed no remorse.

Justice Walter Sofronoff and Justice Robert Gotterson agreed with their colleague.

Cleland's appeal was dismissed. -NewsRegional