Man jailed for assaulting his cousin

Bryce Eishold

The man who threw a pig’s head at the window of the house where toddler Jaidyn Leskie was on the night he disappeared has been sentenced to jail for assault.

Kenneth Stephen Penfold, 48, pleaded guilty to assaulting his cousin, Trevor Macklin, at the Moe Gardens Caravan Park on Mitchells Road on February 12, 2018.

Penfold, who has a “long and detailed criminal history”, handed his lawyer the keys to his home and car moments before he was sentenced to four months’ jail for the assault.

Prosecutor David O’Doherty told the Latrobe Valley County Court on Wednesday Penfold, who is unemployed, kicked Mr Macklin in the face as he lay in a swag on the ground of his annex on the morning of the assault.

“[Mr Macklin] woke up and the accused kicked him a few more times to the face and then started punching him,” Mr O’Doherty told the court during the sentencing hearing.

“The complainant got onto his knees and the accused stopped punching the complainant … and walked towards the door. [Penfold] said he’d be back.”

The court heard the assault took place after Penfold accused Mr Macklin of damaging the back wheel of his bike he borrowed a day earlier.

Mr O’Doherty told the court Penfold demanded compensation for the damaged wheel a day before visiting Mr Macklin at his caravan on February 12..

Police attended Mr Macklin’s caravan following the assault after a female friend of Mr Macklin’s phoned emergency services, the court heard.

“[Police] observed that the complainant was injured and that there was what appeared to be blood on his pillow and swag,” Mr O’Doherty said.

Mr Macklin received a number of fractures to the left side of his face, a scratch across his left cheek bone and swelling and tenderness to his head, the court heard.

His barrister, Paul Koumas, argued the assault was “low to mid-range offending” and that the accused had re-established close relationships with his family since the assault.

Mr Koumas also said the duration of the assault was not particularly long, describing it as “short and sharp”.

The court heard Penfold had a long and chequered criminal past, but had not been accused of an assault for about two decades.

In sentencing, Justice John Smallwood dismissed the claim the assault was a result of damage to the bike: “The circumstances of the offending will remain unknown to a certain extent … I don’t accept necessarily this is how it came about”.

Justice Smallwood said a term of imprisonment was necessary given the nature of the assault.

“The fact of the matter is you can’t go into a person’s house and kick them in the head when they can’t defend themselves,” Justice Smallwood said.

He said the assault was a “serious example of reckless injury because of the way it was carried out” and Mr Macklin was “defenceless” as he lay in his swag during the attack.