A WANGOOM horse owner who went to a Yarpturk property to claim his mare and foal and was kicked in the groin three times by an angry woman has been ordered to donate $500 to Riding For The Disabled.
Peter Fitzgerald McLaren, 66, of St Mary's Road, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to criminal damage, trespass and unlawful assault. He was not convicted, placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond, ordered to pay $500 to the riding group and $170 compensation after cutting a fence.
Police said that during December last year there was an ownership dispute about a mare and foal, which was taken to be agisted at a Yarpturk property.
At 9.30am on May 17 this year Mr McLaren and two other men went to the property with a horse transport to collect the two horses. A woman arrived and there was an argument, the woman swinging a tree branch at Mr McLaren after he cut a boundary fence and tried to load the horses onto the transport and allegedly kicked him three times to the groin.
She has been charged with assault and is due to appear in court next week.
Defence counsel Matthew Senia said that in December last year one of the other part-owners took the mare, which was in foal, with another foal at foot, from Mr McLaren's Wangoom property.
"Mr McLaren had no idea where the mare was taken. Legal proceedings were issued which have been resolved. He now owns 60 per cent and his daughter-in-law the other 40 per cent," Mr Senia said.
"In May this year Mr McLaren attended at the property to collect what he thought was his rightful property. He did not believe he would meet resistance when he explained the situation." Mr Senia said initially there was no one at the property but soon after Mr McLaren was confronted by the "very hostile" complainant.
She had threatened to ring the police, a move Mr McLaren supported. However, things got out of hand very quickly before the police arrived and his client regretted his actions, Mr Senia said
Magistrate Jelena Popovic said the whole incident was an incredibly sorry state of affairs. "It should have been handled quite differently," she said.