Ballarat man fined for crowbar assault

A BALLARAT man believed he was “within his rights to protect his family” when he took a crowbar from a man allegedly threatening to burn his home down and assaulted him up to eight times, a court heard yesterday. 

In a provoked attack which a magistrate said went far beyond his rights, Darren Staszek, 41, overpowered and assaulted a man who had gone to his home seeking revenge over a dog attack. 

Pleading guilty in Ballarat Magistrates Court to recklessly causing serious injury, the court heard the victim was rushed to a Melbourne hospital following the dispute which was “taken out of hand”.

Detailing the offending to the court, police prosecutor Senior Constable Clint Prebble said Staszek’s wife had been watching television on the night of November 27 last year when she began to smell the “strong scent of petrol”.

Peering outside, the woman saw the victim in the matter allegedly holding a crowbar and a can of petrol, threatening to burn the house down.

“I’m here about the American staffy who mauled my son,” the man allegedly yelled. 

Running outside, Staszek seized the crowbar and began to assault the victim while he lay on the ground, the court heard. 

“(Staszek) admitted to hitting him six to eight times,” Senior Constable Prebble said. 

The Courier understands the victim was charged with attempted arson and will face court at a later date.

A lawyer for Staszek said it was a case of “extreme provocation” and his client had been defending his family and property. 

Magistrate Peter Mithen said although Staszek had tried to defend himself, he had gone too far. 

Staszek was convicted and fined $800.

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