Rae Wilson

Re-trial granted for carer who slashed former client

A DISABILITY carer has been granted a re-trial after slashing a former client with a small knife attached to a pole outside her Goodna home.

Dianne Yvonne Bartram was ordered to serve 12 months of a two-year jail sentence after she was convicted of wounding in a trial in the Ipswich District Court in May.

The former client, who suffered from schizophrenia, had slept the night under Mr Bartram's house in July, 2012.

After he left the house, she sent a text asking him to collect his things but there was a confrontation when he returned.

She argued there was evidence supporting her belief she needed to use force to repel the man or there would be an offence committed at her "dwelling".

Ms Bartram said she already had a domestic violence order against the man, he had breached the order as he had already kicked down a door earlier that morning and the man had refused to leave despite several demands.

She said, if other evidence was accepted, the man threatened violence the evening prior and he was armed.

There was some argument over whether the section underneath the house was not part of a "dwelling" using the legal definition.

But Justice John Muir, in a judgment handed down on Friday, noted the alleged victim said he was not leaving until he had all his possessions and there was evidence some were upstairs.

"There was thus evidence that, if accepted, would enable the jury to conclude (Ms Bartram) used force to prevent or repel the (alleged victim) from unlawfully entering or remaining in the dwelling," he said.

Justice Muir said Ms Bartram was denied a "fair chance at acquittal" without the trial judge making particular directions to the jury.

"The evidence is confused. There are competing versions of events and the resolution of such conflicts is quintessentially a jury's role," he said.


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