Pin-up boy for youth gets bonds for assault
By ADRIAN MILLER
PETER Van Lissum had a vision for the youth of Grafton.
He saw the town lacked entertainment facilities for young people, so instead of complaining about it, he floated the idea of a youth centre.
A petition was started which, in the space of two days, gathered 400 signatures in favour of the centre.
Van Lissum then enlisted the help of Clarence MP Steve Cansdell, held a community meeting and formed committees to investigate the possibility of establishing such a centre.
Then, on November 20 last year, it all came crashing down.
An argument between Van Lissum and a woman at his home in South Grafton resulted in serious charges laid against him, and caused him to be remanded in police custody for 15 days.
Van Lissum and the woman ? who can't be named for legal reasons ? were arguing at his home when the woman struck him in the face.
He hit her back, then bound her hands with yellow duct tape.
He stopped her from leaving, before ordering her to sit in his bedroom while he played his Xbox to calm himself down.
The woman suffered bruising to her left arm and right wrist, as well as marks to her head, in the altercation.
She reported the matter to police and soon afterwards they came knocking at Van Lissum's door.
He was arrested, charged with numerous offences and thrown in jail, where he sat for more than two weeks. Yesterday, the final act of that argument was played out in the Grafton District Court.
Van Lissum was sentenced to two three-year good behaviour bonds after pleading guilty to one charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one count of detaining a person with intent to obtain an advantage. He was also ordered not to intimidate or harass the victim for three years.
Van Lissum could have been jailed for nearly 20 years for the offences.
In sentencing, Judge Charteris said he agreed with assertions that each offence was at the low range of the scale.
He said the entire incident arose out of the immaturity of Van Lissum and his victim, and that it was his age and immaturity which saved him from jail.
Judge Charteris said he took Van Lissum's early guilty plea, his co-operation with police and his regret at the incident in deciding his punishment.
But the judge issued Van Lissum a stern warning, saying he could expect jail time if he violated his good behaviour bonds.
"(I am) very unimpressed with your behaviour, you conducted yourself in a way that is not appropriate," he said.
"You are your own jailor Mr Van Lissum ? you stay out of trouble."