Guilty of golf club bashing

Kate Brighton carries the scars of an alleged assault in a road rage incident in South Grafton.
Kate Brighton carries the scars of an alleged assault in a road rage incident in South Grafton.

AFTER pleading his innocence for nine months, Grafton man Anthony John Dunn yesterday admitted in court to assaulting South Grafton woman Kate Brighton with a golf club in a fit of road rage.

The plea change stopped Dunn's scheduled committal hearing from going ahead in the Grafton District Court this month.

Instead, the 31-year-old made a plea bargain, pleading guilty to recklessly wounding a person and common assault.

Charges of armed with intent to commit an indictable offence and affray were withdrawn by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

A more serious charge of maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent was held over to September 1, with the expectation it would be withdrawn once the other matters were finalised.

Dunn - an artist - was arrested in May last year after Ms Brighton and her daughter reported to police they were attacked while driving in South Grafton.

Dunn was a passenger in the car behind the women. When Ms Brighton pulled over, Dunn jumped out of his vehicle with a golf club and hit Ms Brighton and her car with the club.

Ms Brighton suffered injuries to her head and stomach, including black eyes and a damaged nose.

Ms Brighton was not previously known to Dunn.

Dunn was initially released on bail, but a warrant for his arrest was issued after he repeatedly failed to appear in court. He was arrested in August and has been in police custody since.

Dunn earlier pleaded not guilty to all charges against him and a committal hearing was scheduled to determine whether he had a case to answer.

The committal hearing was initially slated to take place in Grafton District Court last March, but was postponed when Dunn suffered chest pains in the dock.

Dunn was fined $100 in Grafton Local Court yesterday for breaking his bail by not appearing at court.

He is scheduled to be sentenced for reckless wounding a person and common assault in Coffs Harbour District Court at the start of June.

His solicitor Neal Funnell said the police report would not be disputed by the defence.

Mr Funnell told the court he requested the change of court to expedite Dunn's sentencing, as District Court did not sit in Grafton until August.

The Crown did not object to the change in venue.

No family or friends were at the courthouse to support Dunn yesterday.

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