Court generic, Lady Justice statue
Court generic, Lady Justice statue

Man faces court for drunken assault on missing teen’s father

A VERBAL fight over a Brooms Head man’s drunken behaviour ended with the father of a missing teenager being assaulted with an umbrella, a court has heard.

Zak Gillespie appeared in Maclean Local Court on Friday and pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The court heard the 36-year-old was at the Brooms Head Bowling Club on March 6 this year when he got into a verbal argument with the victim, 63-year-old Peter Stace, father of missing teenager Lee-Ellen Stace.

Following the argument Mr Stace left the club, and while walking home heard yelling and Gillespie saying “I want to fight, let’s fight”.

Mr Stace refused and attempted to leave but was grabbed by Gillespie, who then attacked him with an umbrella.

Gillespie also entered guilty pleas to stalk/intimidate intending fear or physical harm, malicious damage and contravention of an apprehended violence order committed against his ex-partner last year.

The court heard that on October 27 last year the 36-year-old broke up with his partner of two years. The next day Gillespie went to the victim’s address three times to collect some belongings, and during those visits he made a number of threats to the victim, including holding the victim’s pet cat and saying he was going to put it in a crab trap.

Court documents also reveal Gillespie let down the air on her car tyres and sent a number of text messages that magistrate Kathy Crittenden said “could only be described as intimidating and threatening” such as “you WILL learn a lesson from this one way or another” and “go check your tyres they should be flat by now, what’s next who knows”.

“The messages went on for some hours and into the following morning, and they were offensive and extremely threatening,” the magistrate said.

“There is a need for the community to focus on domestic violence and the message is that it’s not tolerated. The conduct clearly caused significant distress and there’s absolutely no excuse for that conduct.”

In court Gillespie said he was an “idiot in my actions” and that he “shouldn’t get so drunk and do stupid s---”.

“I’ve learnt my lesson after being banned from every establishment in town,” he said.

“I hope this is the final court date I have because I don’t want to come back.”

Gillespie was sentenced to a two-year community corrections order, including 150 hours community service, and fined $400.



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