A self-proclaimed full-time cannabis smoker will no longer share the drug with his mother after he was found guilty of attacking her with a stick in 2021.
Matthew Mitton appeared before Wollongong Local Court dressed in prison greens for a two-hour hearing on Monday.
The 25-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing cannabis but not guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm following an incident on July 19, 2021.
The court heard Mitton's mother was driving him to a doctors appointment that morning when an "argument over nothing" erupted between the pair.
Magistrate Claire Girotto accepted his mother was driving "erratically" on the way to the appointment and that Mitton was "screaming" back at her.
As the ordeal escalated, Mitton's mother refused to continue driving him and let him out on the side of the road near WIN Stadium. Upon his arrival home, the argument continued.
The court heard Mitton grabbed a stick, possibly from a tree outside, before going into the lounge room and hitting his mother across the back with it, leaving her with a deep purple bruise.
In providing witness evidence, Senior Constable Joshua Dietrich said police arrived at the home about 1pm shortly after the incident and took a statement from the woman.
He said photographs of the woman's injury were also taken and that he saw Mitton smoking a bong down the hall.
Mitton took to the witness stand and denied the assault completely, saying when he arrived home, he yelled abuse and went straight to his room.
"I said f--- you I hate you and went in my room and put my headset on," he said, telling the court he did not leave his room at any stage before he heard his mother call the police.
"I just started smoking cannabis. Then cops came and arrested me and put me in the fish tanks (slang for the police holding cells)."
Mitton admitted his drug possession charges, confessing to the court he "always has cannabis" on him. He added he smoked "one or two cones" before getting in the car with his mother, saying they often shared the drug together.
"We share the drug but had separate bongs. We smoke together and get on together," Mitton said in the witness stand.
Constable Dietrich said the woman did not appear intoxicated at the time of providing a witness statement after the incident, and Magistrate Girotto found her version of the events, which were given in a closed court, to be an honest account.
Magistrate Girotto also found the photograph of the woman's injury, showing a long purple bruise, consistent with the allegation she was attacked with a long stick.
Mitton was found guilty of the assault and was sentenced to a 12-month community-based order, however, he will remain behind bars after he was denied bail December last year on unrelated matters.
He was also ordered to comply with a two-year apprehended violence order in place to protect his mother, with opportunity to have this varied if he engages with drug rehabilitation and anger management programs.
A condition of the order prohibits Mitton from contacting or going near his mother within 12 hours of taking drugs or drinking alcohol.
A conviction was recorded without further penalty for the two possession of cannabis charges.
Read more Illawarra court and crime stories here.
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