‘A man high on ice bit off my thumb’

WHEN a father and son went to a friend's house to collect a debt, they ended up on assault charges and less half a thumb.

Mackay men Michael Joseph Nixon, 56, and Michael Robert Nixon, 37, pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm in the District Court in Mackay last week.

Nixon Snr's defence barrister Patrick Cullinane told the court when they went to the man's house he produced a hammer, and there had been a "stand off" between him and the father and son.

Mr Cullinane said the man, who Nixon Snr believed to be on the drug ice, bit off Nixon Jnr's thumb and a fight ensued.

He said it was not known how many times Nixon Snr had kicked the man, but said his injuries seemed to be limited to a black eye and some soft tissue damage.

Nixon Jnr's defence barrister Stephen Byrne said Nixon Jnr had been a regular user of methylamphetamine until 12 months ago, when he suffered drug-induced psychosis.

He said Nixon Jnr had been upset that his thumb was bitten off from the first joint and his response had been "excessive".

The thumb was unable to be reattached in hospital.

Judge Deborah Richards said the assault had happened in "very unusual circumstances".

"I can imagine you losing control when Mr Nixon Jnr (lost) your thumb and acting excessively in those circumstances is probably fairly understandable," she said.

Crown prosecutor Nathan Crane said that as the Crown had been unable to produce the complainant - who had an outstanding arrest warrant on an unrelated matter - he was unable to specify the injuries he'd received.

Mr Cullinane said the Nixons, New Zealand emigrants, had met the complainant on Waitangi Day in 2011.

He said Nixon Snr and his wife had assisted the single man, who was raising four sons alone while working full-time, with babysitting.

Nixon Snr also loaned about $10,000 to the man, including a $3500 loan for a rental bond.

Mr Cullinane said that several weeks prior to the assault, the man had failed a work drug test, had his house raided by police and subsequently lost his job.

When Nixon Snr asked the man how he'd repay his debt, he offered to give him his Jeep Cherokee.

Nixon Snr and Nixon Jnr went to the man's home in March 2014 to collect the car, which is when the fight happened.

Judge Richards said it appeared Nixon Snr had been "very good to the complainant for a long period of time".

She said, considering Nixon Jnr had mental health issues and had suffered a serious injury, fines were an appropriate punishment.

Nixon Snr was fined $1000 and Nixon Jnr was fined $400. Both had convictions recorded.

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