‘Personal issues’ behind bus stop assault

A DARETON man who prides himself on ­educating the region about Aboriginal culture says he was “dealing with personal ­issues” when he pinned a teenager against a wall by his throat and repeatedly punched him.

Roger Glenn Cameron Clarke, 48, pleaded guilty to common assault and was placed on an 18-month community corrections order when he faced Wentworth Local Court yesterday. 

In July last year, the 14-year-old victim was waiting with a friend at a bus stop along the Silver City Highway in Dareton when Clarke walked by with his dog.

The accused and victim were known to each other, and after spotting the teenager he approached him saying: “I have a bone to pick with you … don’t ever speak to my brother like that again.”

The victim was unsure of what he was ­referring to.

The accused then grabbed the teenager by the throat and lifted him up against the wall of the bus shelter, punching him in the stomach and chest.

He threw the victim on to nearby grass where a struggle broke out and Clarke punched the victim several more times.

The victim reported the assault to police.

During sentencing yesterday, Clarke’s counsel Rebecca Boreham said he was very ashamed of himself and had been “very distressed” when he saw photographs of the victim’s injuries.

Ms Boreham said Clarke was a senior ­Aboriginal man and had worked in a number of roles to educate the community about Aboriginal culture, including as a tour guide at Mungo National Park and with both Mildura and Wentworth councils.

The court was told Clarke suffered from PTSD and had an anxiety disorder and on the day of the assault had been “dealing with personal issues”.

Clarke also claimed the victim had been “yelling and screaming” before the assault took place.

To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here