Man jailed for 'extreme over-reaction' in dog attack
Holding his toy poodle cross Lucy above his head, a 60-year-old man kicked out at a dog as it kept jumping up to bite his smaller pooch.
In response, Roland Patrick Meldrum "king hit" the man from behind before kicking him so hard that he broke the prone 60-year-old's arm.
Meldrum, 27, was on Thursday jailed for his "extreme over-reaction" to the man kicking his dog at Victoria Point southeast of Brisbane more than a year ago.
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A week before Christmas in 2021, the 60-year-old was finishing an early evening walk on the beach with Lucy when he saw a dog running towards them.
The dog – which was "four times bigger" than Lucy – wasn't on a leash as required by local council regulations.
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The man lifted up Lucy and repeatedly kicked out at the dog which kept jumping up to "have a go" at his canine, Brisbane District Court was told.
"Your response was to run up to him and effectively king hit him behind his right ear," Judge Jeffrey Clarke told Meldrum on Thursday.
The "significantly smaller" 60-year-old fell to the ground and had to protect his head as Meldrum started kicking him.
Meldrum only stopped his "sustained, cowardly attack" when someone intervened but yelled at the man before leaving with his dog.
X-rays later revealed the man had suffered a fractured arm in the attack and required surgery to insert a plate with seven screws.
He also suffered headaches and vision issues.
The man had to spend time off work during the two months it took for the arm to heal and still suffers ongoing pain.
Defence barrister Michael Copley said Meldrum was unaware of the severity of the man's injury at the time, and was embarrassed and ashamed about what happened.
Meldrum has since written a letter of apology and undergone anger management counselling, he said.
Mr Copley told the court at the time Meldrum had lost hold of the leash before his dog jumped on the man, saying it "wasn't roaming around unrestrained".
Meldrum had a disadvantaged childhood which had been exposed to violence and had "found refuge" in playing with animals, he said.
Meldrum got the dog to cope with anxiety after a relationship break-up and they had become close, the court was told.
He had no criminal history.
Meldrum pleaded guilty to charges including grievous bodily harm and serious assault of a person over 60.
He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail, to be suspended after serving three months.
Meldrum was also ordered to pay $5000 compensation.
"He reacted incredibly poorly and did act out in a disgustingly violent manner," Judge Clarke said.
"This sort of unrestrained, horrible violence simply doesn't belong in a civilised community."
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