A DISPUTE over a broken garden gnome has led to a Pimpinio man spending time in jail.
Nanjing Night Net

Pimpinio man Frederick John Wallace, 50, assaulted a man and threatened to kill five others at Dimboola in February 2010.

A jury found Wallace guilty of one count of aggravated burglary, one count of having intentionally caused injury and five counts of threats to kill.

Horsham County Court heard that on February 1, 2010, Wallace called Christopher ‘Tiger’ Dempsey, making several threats against him and his neighbour Stewart Lucas over their involvement in damaging garden gnomes belonging to Dempsey’s neighbour.

Wallace allegedly gave Dempsey a day to find out who broke the gnomes.

On Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 8.30pm Wallace left Dimboola Hotel in a taxi headed to Dempsey’s George Street property.

He entered the property demanding to talk to Dempsey. He entered the house and asked Dempsey’s partner Alison Castleman where he was. When she responded saying he was not at home, he grabbed her by the throat before threatening Castleman and bystanders Samantha Lee and Trinity O’Neill.

“You messed with the wrong family… you’re all dead,” he told them.

The court heard Wallace then travelled to a Faith Street property demanding to talk to Phillip Lee. After an altercation with Lee’s partner Debbie Pearse, Wallace became aggressive, shouting “Open the gate before I smash it down.”

Having heard the argument, Lucas arrived at the property to support Pearse. Wallace then tried to punch Lucas, calling him a dog and a ‘wanna-be bikie’ several times.

After a struggle, Wallace told Lucas he would ‘show him what it meant to be a biker’ punching him two or three times before slamming his head against a car. He then elbowed Lucas in the back, aggravating a previous back injury.

Wallace then told Lucas ‘that’s what a real biker does’ and that the Hells Angels were going to kill him. He then dragged Lucas toward the road, telling Lucas he could kill him now or wait for the Hells Angels.

He then tried to urinate on Lucas but was unsuccessful, before slapping him in the face seven times.

Dempsey arrived shortly after and Wallace made threats to kill Dempsey and Jacob Dempsey.

“You’re all dead,” he told them.

In sentencing, Judge Paul Lacava took into account Wallace’s prior convictions for assault, noting he had two suspended sentences imposed on him at the time of the attack.

Wallace’s lawyer argued that Wallace had alcohol abuse issues following a marriage break-up, saying it was not to excuse his behaviour, but to rather put it in context.

Judge Lacava rejected Wallace’s claim that he acted in self defence, labelling him a serious violent offender.

“You have shown no evidence of remorse,” he said.

“Some of your evidence is an insult to the jury’s intelligence and they have done what I instructed which was to put it to one side.”

The judge took into account Wallace’s health issues, including depression, heart problems, diabetes and post traumatic stress from working with injured Vietnam veterans.

The judge rejected the prosecution’s request for four to five years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of two to three years, saying Wallace could benefit from time out of prison on parole.

He was sentenced to two and a half years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 15 months.

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