Tomahawk used to hack foot in self-defence

URANGAN man Matthew Paul Phillips was awoken by the sounds of his house windows being smashed by an intruder on a morning in April.  

What he did next landed him instead of his perpetrator behind bars.   

In a case of self-defence taken too far, the 42-year-old attacked the culprit with a tomahawk-like weapon nearly chopping his foot off, a court has heard.  

The attack happened near a popular a fast food restaurant after Matthew Phillips and his brother Christopher Thomas Phillips - who had also been at the house - chased the man until he fell into a ditch.   

Police allege Christopher Phillips punched the intruder's head multiple times with a closed fist, before Matthew Phillips did damage with the gardening tool.  

All three of the men involved were charged following the altercation which occurred on April 17 about 6.40am.   

Phillips pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay District Court to assault occasioning bodily harm in company and unlawful wounding.    

The victim, Joel Christopher Hardman, was fined $500 earlier this year after he pleaded guilty in court to wilful damage for smashing the windows.

Phillips' brother Christopher Thomas Phillips has not yet been sentenced over his alleged involvement in the prolonged attack.   

The District Court heard Hardman, 39, was a former partner of Christopher Phillips' then-girlfriend and had come to the house to demand money from her.   

The attack on him by the brothers was captured on a CCTV camera installed at a nearby restaurant.  

The footage, which was played in court, depicts a dog tangled up in the mess held on a leash by Hardman.   

Hardman suffered a deep laceration on his right ankle, which required stitches.  

In an interview with police, he recalled Matthew Phillips "chopping" at his foot "two or three times".  

The brothers walked away from the bleeding man after they were finished with him.    

An injured Hardman was helped by a passing truck driver.

Judge Glen Cash said Matthew Phillips' reaction to Hardman's "terrible conduct" was justified "up to a point", but well and truly crossed the line.

Phillips was sentenced to 18-months in jail.   

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