Brother’s surgery after quarrel over cab fare
A fight between brothers over who was to pay for a cab ride has left one in the slammer and one injured.
Rodney Grant Hamilton’s older brother still has blurry and reduced vision in his right eye after the row on July 30, 2019.
The brothers had been out for dinner when they decided to catch a cab home.
An argument over who should pay for the fare didn’t end with the ride.
Maroochydore District Court heard Hamilton’s brother was sitting in the living room of their Aroona home when he questioned Hamilton about payment and threw a beer can at his chest.
“The defendant yelled at the complainant, ran over to him and punched him in the face on a number of occasions while the complainant was still seated in the lounge chair,” Crown prosecutor Will Slack said.
Hamilton was wearing several large rings on seven of his fingers at the time.
The court heard he delivered between four and 10 blows.
Paramedics took his brother to hospital with cuts to his eyebrow and mouth, and swollen eyes.
He discharged himself without treatment due to lengthy wait times but attended Caloundra Hospital a week later after noticing his vision was blurry.
He was diagnosed with a detached retina to his right eye.
“If left untreated it would result in blindness,” Mr Slack said.
“At a later date, the complainant underwent surgery to repair the detached retina.
“I note that, although it has been reattached, there has been no improvement to his vision.”
Hamilton told police he was provoked by his brother throwing a glass bottle which hit him in the face.
Mr Slack said that was incorrect and while a can was thrown, the attack was unprovoked.
Hamilton appeared by video from Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre on Thursday to plead guilty to the domestic violence offence of grievous bodily harm.
He had previous offences relating to violence on his criminal history and was on a suspended sentence at the time of the assault.
Defence barrister Scott Neaves said his client began using drugs at the age of 14 and said his life had been “plagued by addiction”.
He said Hamilton witnessed violence and substance abuse in his childhood and that followed him into his adulthood.
“He also instructs he’s had long term challenges in terms of mental health, largely recollecting hearing voices, hallucinations and paranoia for as long as he can remember,” Mr Neaves said.
He said his client now had insight into his behaviour and realised he needed to seek professional help.
Judge John Allen said he had no doubt Hamilton’s mental health and substance abuse issues had played a part in his “deplorable” history of violence towards his siblings.
He said he would be back before the court if he didn’t get help.
“So it is in your interest and the community’s interest that you do have supervision upon your release and you do have those opportunities to address your longstanding and serious issues with substance abuse and your mental health,” Mr Allen said.
He considered the 36-year-old had spent 13 months in pre-sentence custody.
Hamilton was sentenced to three years in jail and his suspended sentence was activated.
He will be released on parole on Friday.