Painter who punched a man over an unpaid account fined $500

A PAINTER who punched a contractor in the face over an unpaid account has been convicted and fined $500. 

David James Burton, 38, of Ashworth Drive, Kelso, appeared before Magistrate Viney in Bathurst Local Court charged with assault.

Police facts tendered to the court told how the victim was the owner of a local construction company and the accused was a painter who had been contracted for jobs about 15 times in the past 10 years.

The court heard the accused had completed five jobs in a row for the victim and had been receiving progress payments throughout. The accused was disputing the payments and had been calling and messaging the victim over a month.

On February 14, the victim arrived at work at Gilmour Street, Kelso and was waiting outside the address when the accused drove up.

According to the police facts, the accused approached the victim with some receipts in his hand that the victim had given him previously.

“I want to talk to you about this,” the accused said.

The accused walked up to the victim and threw a punch at his head, but the victim pulled away and the punch did not hit him, according to the police facts.

The accused threw another punch at the victim’s head, which did not connect, before throwing another punch which did connect with the right side of the victim’s jaw.

The force of the punch drew blood inside the victim’s mouth, according to the police facts.

The accused bent over as if he was picking something up and the victim retreated and got into his vehicle. The accused drove off.

The victim went to Bathurst police station to report the incident. Police later interviewed the accused, who admitted he hit the victim.

“I hit him. I was pretty upset because we were in financial hardship as a result of this,” the accused said, according to the police facts.

References tendered to the court told how the accused had ongoing problems receiving payment for work he had done for the victim, placing financial hardship on his family. 

He said he lost his temper.