Court hears evidence against Digby man Heath John Goodman on assault charges

Ian Douglas on Tuesday gave evidence at the Warrnambool County Court trial of Heath John Goodman, 42, of Rashleigh Street, Digby, who has pleaded not guilty to three assault-related offences.

Ian Douglas on Tuesday gave evidence at the Warrnambool County Court trial of Heath John Goodman, 42, of Rashleigh Street, Digby, who has pleaded not guilty to three assault-related offences.

A DIGBY resident involved in an ongoing dispute with a neighbour has described witnessing an assault on his tenant involving up to 30 punches.

Ian Douglas on Tuesday gave evidence at the Warrnambool County Court trial of Heath John Goodman, 42, of Rashleigh Street, Digby, who has pleaded not guilty to three assault-related offences.

Mr Goodman and Mr Douglas had been neighbours for about 17 years and were on good terms until there was an ongoing dispute over a dog defecating on Mr Douglas' property.

Alleged victim Ronald Ross separated from his wife and moved in as a tenant with Mr Douglas about three years before there was an incident on November 25, 2012. 

At about 4.30pm that day, Mr Douglas and Mr Ross were loading a dismantled shed onto a trailer while Mr Goodman and his father John were moving sheep down the road.

Mr Douglas said he was about two metres from Mr Ross loading wood when he saw Mr Goodman approach.

He recalled Mr Goodman said to Mr Ross: "I'm f...ing sick of you, you grey-haired old bastard".

Mr Douglas said he turned to put wood on the trailer and the next thing he saw was Mr Ross on his hands and knees, with Mr Goodman over him. He then punched Mr Ross to the head and upper body.

Asked how many times Mr Ross was punched by Mr Goodman, Mr Douglas said "over 20, if not 30" times in the space of "a good minute".

Mr Douglas said that during the assault neither he nor Mr Ross said anything, although he heard John Goodman say several times "Heath, stop it".

Mr Ross said that twice in the months leading up to November 25, 2012, he had been involved in incidents with Heath Goodman.

He said he had been hit by the side mirror of Mr Goodman's vehicle and at another time Mr Goodman grabbed him by the arm and said: "What's your problem?"

Mr Ross said he replied: "Pricks like you".

He said that on November 25, Mr Goodman walked towards him and threw a two-metre long lump of wood towards him from about a foot or two away, which landed about 30cms from Mr Goodman. 

"The next thing I know I'm on the ground. I copped a punch to the head. I got onto my hands and knees and tried to headbutt him in the balls," he said.

Mr Ross said he was then punched about 20 times.

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