‘Chilling’: Man smashes homeless woman with crowbar
A man who smashed a homeless woman over the head with a crowbar and then choked her while telling her he was going to finish her off has been jailed.
Blood splattered all over the victim's belongings as Andrew Phillip McElligott, 50, took his revenge.
Police prosecutor Brendan Newman told the Maroochydore Magistrates Court a 59-year-old homeless woman was lying in her sleeping bag in a secluded area when she was approached from behind on November 11.
"The defendant has approached the victim whilst she was in bed," he said.
"He said 'I warned you b----, I was going to get you if you didn't drop the charges'.
"He struck her multiple times to the back of the head, back and torso."
The court heard the victim began bleeding from the cut and began fighting with McElligott and the bar was dropped.
The bar, which was described as a "heavy galvanised pole with significant weight", was covered in blood.
"It was certainly capable of doing significant damage," Sergeant Newman said.
"He has then placed her in a headlock restricting her breath.
"He has then put his hands around her throat and began to strangle her, stating 'I'm going to finish you off b----'."
Sgt Newman said the victim managed to break free and scream and a member of the public came to her aid.
"If he had not been in the vicinity, we don't know how this would have ended up," he said.
"It's chilling to say the least."
The court heard the victim had a 5cm cut to her head which needed staples.
Sgt Newman said McElligott may have believed the victim had previously dobbed him into police for breaching his bail.
McElligott pleaded guilty by videolink in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Monday to five charges, including assault occasioning bodily harm.
McElligott's lawyer, Bernard Bradley, said McElligott had been suffering from a significant injury to his shoulder bone which he hadn't been able to receive medical treatment for in jail.
He asked for McElligott to be released to be able to get the surgery as he had already served 10 months in custody.
The court heard McElligott had a troubled childhood.
Mr Bradley said he had spoken to the victim and realised the significant impact it had on her.
"She didn't deserve this and by my client's by his plea of guilty has accepted responsibility for what he did," he said.
Magistrate Maxine Baldwin sentenced McElligott to two-and-a-half years in jail, with a parole eligibility date of December 8.