Corey Szolna leaves court after pleading guilty to committing a negligent act causing harm.
Corey Szolna leaves court after pleading guilty to committing a negligent act causing harm.

‘Fearful’ fisherman throws garden stake during pursuit

WHEN Cory Szolna met mates near a Bremer River fishing spot where he drank cider a resident became irate at seeing him trying to climb over a fence.

There was an argument and Szolna ran off, before being chased on foot by the resident's brother for about 300 metres.

As the chase continued along Ipswich streets Szolna threw a timber garden stake, which struck the man who was chasing him and badly gashed his leg.

Ipswich District Court heard Szolna, a tradesman, acted out of fear.

Cory Malcolm Szolna, 29, from Brassall, pleaded guilty to doing a negligent act that caused harm to George Talsma at Basin Pocket on September 18, 2018.

Prosecutor Victoria Adams said the Crown would not proceed with its original indictment with the charge of unlawful assault causing bodily harm when armed.

She outlined his previous criminal history for nuisance type offences including hotel altercations.

Ms Adams said an Ipswich homeowner saw Szolna with his leg dangled over his fence and words were exchanged.

The resident's brother jumped the fence and followed Szolna.

Ms Adams said Szolna pulled a wooden stake from the ground.

It was thrown and hit the ground, then hit the man's lower right leg.

Szolna threw a second stake that missed.

"He was treated for a laceration to his lower right shin," Ms Adams said.

"He (Szolna) failed to use reasonable care and caution with the use of the stake."

Judge Dennis Lynch QC later noted the injury required 13 stitches.

Defence barrister Stephen Kissick said Szolna would have defended the more serious charge of assault causing bodily harm "on the basis he was defending himself".

"My client and friends had been accessing the Bremer river to fish and, it seems, to have a drink," Mr Kissick said.

"There had been a longstanding dispute regarding easement access. He instructs he had never been there before.

"The man (from his police statement and in evidence at a committal hearing) said he had a stick in his hand 60cm long and had pursued my client on foot. My client was not armed."

Mr Kissick said the complainant had put on a threatening "puffed up" stance.

"My client (Szolna) ran away pursued by a person with a garden branch," Mr Kissick said.

"It was around a 300m pursuit and my client didn't think he could outrun the man with the stick so he did what he did."

Mr Kissick said Szolna had "poor knees" as a result of being a football player and his work as a tiler.

"He does acknowledge he was drinking cider with friends that day."

Judge Lynch convicted and sentenced Szolna to a 12-month probation order.

"He did suffer a significant injury. He was taken by QAS to hospital with a 5cm laceration. He received 13 stitches and needed time off work," Judge Lynch said.

"If you continue to be a nuisance, harass people, or cause injury you won't get the same sympathetic ear next time.

"You made to get over the fence and you were warned off.

"You made a threat and ran off.

"The victim pursued you with a stick or branch. Chased you for some distance.

"You were concerned that they were following you and you attempted to grab a garden stake.

"You could not and kicked it. It snapped.

"You waved it and threw it. It bounced on the ground and hit him in the shin."

Judge Lynch said he noted that the original charge had been changed significantly and he gave him credit for his plea.

"You acted in a careless way and caused harm. The blame is all yours and probably because you were intoxicated," he said.