Jury finds man not guilty in bizarre 'Miss Daisy' road rage
A MAN accused of assaulting a bird watcher at a rural reserve during an alleged road rage like incident has been found not guilty following a trial.
The woman claimed he accused her of driving slowly "like Miss Daisy" on a dirt road in a verbal exchange between the two when she later parked beside him.
Scott Andrew Profke, 50, from Deebing Heights, pleaded not guilty in Ipswich District Court to two charges that on August 7, 2018, at Purga he unlawfully entered a motor vehicle with intent to offend by receiving tainted property, and damaged property; and unlawfully assaulted the woman and did her bodily harm.
During the course of Crown legal proceedings the first charge was revised to state 'with intent to offend by stealing'.
At the completion of evidence Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC directed the jury to find Profke not guilty of assault causing bodily harm.
The jury subsequently found Profke not guilty of all charges.
In the two-day trial the jury heard Profke had overtaken the woman's vehicle on its left side while travelling along a dirt road leading to Hardings Paddock Reserve.
He later told police he overtook the woman because she drove "like Miss Daisy".
The woman, Jacqueline Carpenter, claimed Profke tailgated her, then assaulted her in the car park when she tried to film him on her mobile phone.
Photos of grazes to her fingers were shown to the jury.
Profke denied assaulting the woman in a recorded interview with police.
Prosecutor Victoria Adams told the nine male and three female jury members that the alleged incidents took place at Hardings Paddock Reserve after Ms Carpenter, an avid birdwatcher, drove there along Carmichaels Road, which had a 30km/h speed limit.
In her evidence, Ms Carpenter told the court she was mindful to stick to the speed limit because people rode their horses and walked along the dirt road.
She had been in her Pajero when a white Holden 4WD came up behind her.
"I looked in my rear view mirror and it seemed to come from out of nowhere, and driving quite close to my vehicle. I couldn't understand why someone was driving like that," she said in her evidence to the court.
"There was nowhere to pull over and I maintained my speed. It (his 4WD) goes past on my left side, through the bush.
"As I approached the car park I saw his vehicle and he was watching me in his side mirror. I parked next to him to make him feel uncomfortable.
"He was sitting there reading the newspaper.
"I thought, how bizarre to drive so aggressively and then to sit and read.
"I leaned over and said (through an open window) what was that all about. Why were you driving like that."
Ms Carpenter said there was an exchange of words that escalated into name calling.
"He said I was driving like Miss Daisy; driving like a grandmother," she said.
"I sensed things were getting quite nasty. I picked up my mobile phone and held it up saying look if you carry on like that I will film you."
"He left his car and enters my vehicle. He opens the front passenger door. He was doing what he could to take my phone away.
"He was leaning across me. I remember his weight. I felt trapped.
"I took blows to the top of my left arm. He was trying to get hold of my phone, and he was using his elbows.
"He picked up my wildlife camera, which has a long 600mm lens. He smashed it down on the dash.
"I jumped out of the car. I screamed and screamed my throat sore."
Ms Carpenter said she did not fight back and wanted only "to shield my face".
Ms Carpenter said she ended up with scratches to her hand, a split lip, and bruising around one eye.
Under cross-examination by defence barrister Geoffrey Seaholme, Ms Carpenter denied she had been confrontational.
She agreed she had been verbally abusing Profke and that he was verbally abusing her.
"He took the phone from you because you were recording him. He did not assault you," Mr Seaholme suggested.
"I disagree with that statement," Ms Carpenter said.
The jury heard a recorded interview police had with Profke in October 2018.
"I've got nothing to hide," Profke said in the interview.
"She was recording me. I thought it would end up on YouTube.
"I jumped in the car and grabbed the phone.
"I don't know where she got the scratches and bruises."
Profke said that when she parked beside his 4WD and started recording him "I was going off at her, why were you driving at 15km hour. I said no one drives at 15km an hour."
"Did you call her a fat ***t and a bitch," queried Detective Senior Constable Kyle McDonald.
"Oh yes," said Profke.
"I thought it would end up on YouTube.
"I jumped in to get the phone.
"I never hit her, never scratched her."
The jury made its not guilty verdict soon after the conclusion of the case.