Grass ‘war’ lands elderly man in hospital
A MAN who threw several large rocks at his elderly neighbour during a suburban grass "war" in the Rural Area has walked from court on a suspended sentence.
Peter Paul Dobbe, 63, was found guilty in the Darwin Local Court of attacking his 85-year-old neighbour after accusing him of spraying weed killer on his side of the fence.
The court heard Dobbe approached his neighbour of 30 years while he was out spraying his yard in Virginia in January this year and began yelling at him to not "spray Roundup on my side of the fence".
"Come to the fence so I can punch you in the face," Dobbe said, to which the elderly man replied "You're a bloody nut case and everyone in the street knows it".
Dobbe then picked up a rock and when his neighbour asked what he planned to do with it he told him "I am going to bloody kill you with it".
Dobbe then proceeded to throw several rocks at the other man, including some up to 25cm in diameter, hitting him a number of times and causing him to bleed "profusely".
The elderly man called for his wife to get the medical kit but his injuries were severe enough that he was later treated for cuts and bruises at the Palmerston Regional Hospital.
After police arrived, Dobbe was captured on their body-worn cameras saying "What about when he hit me with the poison" and "He sprayed my dog".
"If (you think) this is going to soften me up you're mistaken," he said.
"This is bulls***, is that how the law works?
"It's war now … poor old man."
In handing Dobbe a four month sentence, suspended at the rising of the court, judge Therese Austin said the "best result for everyone … is that the acrimony ceases".
"Let's hope that everybody in this relationship will get on better after this court date and everybody will speak to each other in a much better way and this will never happen again," she said.