Dispute over $30 fuels axe assault on grandmother in a Mount Gambier park

Ellard approached the victim when she was with her daughter and granddaughter at a park on Holloway Crescent.  (ABC South East SA: Grace Whiteside)

A man, who threatened a woman at a Mount Gambier park with a tomahawk axe, has received a six-month suspended sentence.

Rhys William Colin Ellard appeared in the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to aggravated assault in November.

The prosecution told the court that Ellard, 30, had approached the victim while she was at a park on Holloway Crescent with her daughter and granddaughter in July last year.

The court heard Ellard drove to the park and got out of his car, holding a tomahawk axe.

The prosecution said Ellard said "You're f***ed" while walking towards the victim with the axe above his head.

He told the victim multiple times he was going to kill her.

The court heard the victim had "real fear" that he was going to harm her.

The court also heard, a passer-by who witnessed the altercation and drove his car between Ellard and the victim, said he would call the police.

This prompted Ellard to get back in his car and drive off.

The offending happened at a park on Holloway Crescent in Mount Gambier in July 2020. (ABC South East SA: Grace Whiteside)

Pair had argued over money

The prosecution and defence agreed the offending had escalated from a dispute over $30.

Defence lawyer Jarrad Sim said his client had tried to pay the victim the money she said he owed her, but she would not accept it.

He said the victim had been "pestering him" with messages and threats in the lead-up to the offending.

Magistrate Maria Panagiotidis described Ellard's actions as "so excessive". (ABC South East SA: Grace Whiteside)

Mr Sim said Ellard had tried to seek assistance from police with an intervention order claiming he felt "emotional manipulation".

The court heard Ellard had been abusing drugs and alcohol, which had "obscured his decision-making".

Mr Sim said his client was remorseful for his actions and had written a letter of apology.

The court heard Ellard was working on his rehabilitation and was not consuming drugs or alcohol at present.

Excessive and unacceptable

Ellard received a six-month suspended sentence and was put on a good behaviour bond for 12 months.

In sentencing, Magistrate Maria Panagiotidis said she acknowledged Ellard was regretful and remorseful.

But she said his actions were "so excessive and completely unacceptable".

Ellard will spend his bond under supervision by Corrections and a conviction has been recorded.


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