Conflict between Wodonga businesses and a parking inspector boiled over during recent roadworks, to the point where a video store manager assaulted the officer for giving him a ticket.
Sam Allen was issued a ticket for parking longer than the 30 minutes allowed near the Leading Entertainment business in Liverpool Lane on the afternoon of November 1 last year.
Half an hour later, he confronted the parking inspector in a nearby school zone.
Wodonga Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday that Allen lunged at the victim.
“I’m going to find out where you f---ing live and I’m going to bash you,” Allen told the parking inspector.
He pushed back the victim’s hand and tried to pick up a sign, but was stopped when the victim put his foot on it and called police.
Allen pleaded guilty to unlawful assault.
His solicitor Michelle Matthews said business owners had been getting tickets for leaving their cars in the 30-minute parking zone while roadworks limited their options, and had tried to talk to the parking inspector.
“The roadworks had a significant negative impact on my client’s business,” she said.
“It’s a struggling industry, which has exacerbated the stress my client was under.”
Allen stood and told the court “there had been other incidents in the past with other business owners”, but was stopped by magistrate Peter Dunn.
“It’s probably not wise to be blaming the parking inspector,” he said.
“He may have been under a lot of stress and pressure, but surely the council worker is entitled to go ahead with council business.”
Allen was placed on a 12-month community correction order without conviction and ordered to complete 50 hours of unpaid work.
“Not only has he given him plenty of advice, but he’s lunged at him … He certainly wouldn’t want people to come into his business and act that way,” Mr Dunn said.
“Everyone’s entitled to go to work and be treated with dignity and respect.
“I can imagine it would be a difficult and trying job sometimes.”
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