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Back in jail after 'unprovoked attack'

Wednesday, 12th January, 2011

Back in jail after 'unprovoked attack' Back in jail after 'unprovoked attack'

A man charged with assaulting a local caravan park manager and his own father on Monday night had only been released from jail that day, policetold the Local Court yesterday.

The 25-year-old was picked up from Port Augusta jail by his parents and they were on their way home to Queensland when they pulled into the caravan park in Rakow Street about 6pm, the police said.

The accused, Darrell Sweeney, of Minyama, Queensland, went to reception with his stepmother to inquire about accommodation but got into a disputewith the manager who asked him to leave, they said.

The manager held the door open for them but as Sweeney passed him he allegedly threw a headbutt which caught the manager on the cheek.

According to a police statement tendered to the court, Sweeney then left with his father and stepmother who was driving their stationwagon.

Sweeney was in the back seat and as they were driving along he reached over and put his hands over his mother's eyes, forcing her to stopthe vehicle in Beryl Street near the Rising Sun Hotel.

There Sweeney, still in the back seat, put his arm around his 53-year-old father's neck and started choking him, the police said.

Everyone then got out of the car and Sweeney allegedly headbutted his father, knocking him unconscious.As he lay on the ground, he then punched and kicked him in the face and body, police said.

His stepmother called police and an ambulance and then revived her husband and helped him back to the car, but as he sat in the front seat Sweeney came over and allegedly punched him twice in the stomach.

Police said that when they arrived they saw him trying to headbutt his father. They grabbed him and tried to put him in the back of the police van but he got his arms free, police said.

A struggle took place and the police used capsicum spray to subdue him. Back at the police station, it is alleged that he continually spat on the walls and floor of the dock as he was being charged and shouted threats at the officers.

"He was highly aggressive and abused police for no less than forty minutes, screaming at the top of his lungs," the police told the court.

They also said that he had a long criminal record in SA and had just completed a two-and-a-half year jail sentence.

His attacks on the two men were "completely unprovoked", they told the court.

The caravan park manager suffered a minor injury but Sweeney's father had a cut and swollen nose and other facial injuries. 

He was taken to hospital by ambulance for treatment and observation. After spending the night in police custody, Sweeney faced the Local Courtcharged with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, resisting arrest, causing malicious damage and intimidating police.

He did not apply for bail and it was formally refused by the magistrate who remanded him to January 18.

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