Man released from jail after burning father's face
A FRASER Coast man narrowly avoided "catastrophe" when he used a cigarette lighter to ignite the spray from a deodorant can to burn his dad's face while he kept him hostage for almost four hours.
Paul Charles Doyle's 74-year-old father suffers from emphysema and, for 16 hours a day, uses oxygen, which could have caused an explosion at the Maryborough unit.
The 43-year-old had been out drinking on June 5 and blamed his own inadequacies as a father on his dad's treatment of him as a young boy.
After dwelling on what was happening with three of his four children in Toowoomba, Doyle returned to his dad's unit drunk and angry.
"I've been waiting 40 years for this, I've come to kill you," he said.
For the next four hours, Doyle berated and abused his father while blaming him for his own failings.
As well as burning his dad's face, Doyle twisted fragile skin to cause a 14cm tear to his foot, a 10cm tear to his forearm and bruising when he punched him in the torso.
He also pulled out a knife and told his dad "you won't see another sunrise".
But Doyle suddenly left at 2am and his father called police.
Crown prosecutor Sandra Cupina told Brisbane District Court on Wednesday that Doyle's father was initially reluctant to make a formal complaint and did not want his son to serve any more jail time.
But she said Doyle had deliberately harmed a vulnerable victim.
"It has to be said the burning of the face of a man who was on oxygen could have had catastrophic consequences," she said.
The court heard Doyle had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and had suffered an acquired brain injury after a car collision.
He had a criminal and traffic history littered with drink-driving, property, dishonesty and violence offences.
Doyle said he had been thinking a lot about his children in Toowoomba and his goal was to find accommodation for them all to live together, though he acknowledged that would be a long process.
Defence barrister Kevin Kelso said the trigger for his client's behaviour had been learning some information about his kids.
"Drinking on the night in question, he'd been dwelling on what had happened (to his children) and that brought up bad memories of his dad's behaviour towards him when he was a child," he said.
"It effectively escalated from there."
Doyle told the court his dad had accepted his apologies and he realised his behaviour that night was "stupid".
"I love my father very much," he said.
"I'm very, very sorry."
Judge Ian Dearden sentenced him to two-and-a-half years but released him immediately on parole, having already spent 173 days in custody since his arrest.