Bev Lacey

Man brings 'flame thrower' to neighbourhood dispute

A WILSONTON man who turned an insect spray can into a portable flame thrower to ward off a rival in a neighbourhood dispute has been placed on a probation order to help deal with anger issues.

The complainant man had been working in his shed at the Stone St unit complex about 6.10pm June 21 when neighbour Russell Bruce McDuff approached saying "I'll be back", Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard.

He walked off but the complainant man followed him, asking if he was okay.

When they got to McDuff's residence, McDuff picked up a can of insect spray and lit the spray with a cigarette lighter, turning the can into a makeshift flame thrower which he pointed at the complainant man who ran off.

Yelling "I'll f***ing burn your house down", McDuff had then dropped the can and punched the man in the jaw, police prosecutor Sergeant Natalie Bugden told the court.

McDuff, 51, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm and threatening violence.

His solicitor Shane MacDonald told the court there had been issues between the two men involved in the incident for some time.

Mr MacDonald said it could be argued that there had been some provocation but his client accepted his response was excessive.

Magistrate Kay Ryan said there was usually two sides to the story in such cases but told McDuff his response was "extremely serious behaviour".

Noting he had two previous offences of common assault, Ms Ryan placed McDuff on nine months probation.