Brett George Merriman, 61, was found not guilty of assault occasioning bodily harm to his neighbour after his cat was mauled by their dog.
Brett George Merriman, 61, was found not guilty of assault occasioning bodily harm to his neighbour after his cat was mauled by their dog. Contributed

Neighbour lashes out at owner of dog who mauled his cat

A MAN who punched his neighbour in the face, kicked his dog and broke his fence said he acted out after his cat was mauled by the neighbour's dog.

The Maroochydore Magistrates Court heard how Brett George Merriman, 61, was "inconsolable" after his cat was killed by a large dog after it wandered into his neighbour's Little Mountian yard in October.

Merriman, who represented himself at court, pleaded not guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm and wilful damage charges on his neighbour, Gary Doran.

Merriman told police in a recorded interview he wanted to tell Mr Doran "what I thought of him", so approached his house on Doolooma St and rattled his side gate causing it to break.

He said he knocked on the front door and nobody answered, so he opened the unlocked door and shouted obscenities down the hallway about how their dog killed his cat.

Mr Doran, who was called as a witness, told the court Merriman punched him while inside his home before he forced him out the front door.

He said Merriman kicked his dog and hit him again in the jaw while outside.

Merriman denied this, saying he was asked to leave and only punched Mr Doran when outside the home in "self defence".

Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin said it was "extremely unlikely" that Merriman hit Mr Doran twice in the exact same spot, saying the evidence wasn't consistent of which occurrence would have caused the victim harm.

"The defendant seemed to be very honest and forthright in his interview and didn't shy away from the fact he trespassed and hit him outside," Mr McLaughlin said.

Merriman was found not guilty of assault occasioning bodily harm.

Mr McLaughlin accepted the damage caused to the side gate was by Merriman's force, and he was given a 12-month good behaviour bond.



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