Penalty for ex-ranger

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
Delivery driver Peter Kinnane outside the café.
Camera IconDelivery driver Peter Kinnane outside the café. Credit: Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

A former City of Albany ranger had an “emotional explosion” when he attacked a delivery driver in a parking dispute earlier this year, a court has heard.

Michael McCaffery was sentenced to a 12-month community-based order at the Albany Magistrate’s Court last Thursday after pleading guilty to aggravated common assault and damaging property.

McCaffery, 56, was suffering severe anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder when he attacked delivery driver Peter Kinnane(pictured) on February 6 on Peels Place outside Cosi’s Cafe.

He was employed as a City of Albany ranger when he assaulted Mr Kinnane, who had double-parked outside the cafe. He was later dismissed from his job.

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Prosecuting Sergeant Dave Loverock told the court three members of the public helped to restrain McCaffery.

The court heard Mr Kinnane was held by the neck, punched three times in the head, struck in the torso and kneed in the thigh.

Sgt Loverock said McCaffery kicked out when restrained and damaged a nearby parked car.

Defence lawyer Jamie Hodgkinson said McCaffrey was still suffering from a previous incident while working as a ranger which left him with PTSD and severe anxiety, for which he sought medical help.

The previous incident involved a physical altercation last year between Albany dog owner Dylan Cassells and two City rangers, including McCaffery. The matter was dealt with at Albany District Court last month, when Mr Cassells admitted brandishing a knife but was found not guilty of assaulting a public officer.

In court last week, Mr Hodgkinson sought a spent conviction for his client, arguing he was of previous good character and a conviction would negatively affect his future employment prospects.

“My client doesn’t dispute he hit the victim — he suffered an emotional explosion,” he said.

Sgt Loverock opposed the spent conviction, calling for a community order or suspended jail term.

Magistrate Raelene Johnston said the offence was serious enough to warrant a prison term if the accused had previous convictions, but she believed a community-based order was appropriate.

She refused a spent conviction but acknowledged being confronted with a knife last year had impacted him.

“This was a significant prolonged attack...The way you reacted was excessive,” she said.

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