Brother’s desperate ‘temper tantrum’ over parents’ will
Fear and grief were blamed for a Carseldine man's alleged rampage against his sister and her husband, in which he threw a glass table and chairs over a balcony then allegedly punched them in the face and arms.
Darryl George Steinbeck, 67, pleaded guilty to two charges of wilful damage and pleaded not guilty to two charges of assault occasioning bodily harm at the Sandgate Magistrates Court today.
The court heard tension arose between Mr Steinbeck and his sister Joanne Peasley when their parents died, bequeathing them each 50 per cent of the family home.
Mrs Peasley moved into the property with her husband Stephen Peasley on August 24, 2019, a decision which seemed to anger Mr Steinbeck, who told the court he repeatedly reported the matter to police and called tradesmen to work on the property without giving his sister notice.
On one such occasion on September 29, Mr Steinbeck was showing a painter some work he needed done on the rear balcony of the home.
The court heard Mr Steinbeck attempted to open the sliding glass door to let both himself and the painter inside when he discovered that his sister had locked it.
In what police prosecutor Troy Newman described in his final submission as "a toddler tantrum", Mr Steinbeck threw the glass table and two chairs over the balcony and onto his sister's aviary.
Phone recordings of a conversation between Mrs Peasley and Mr Steinbeck's wife, tendered to the court, capture the sound of glass smashing.
The court heard Mr Peasley ran to the rear balcony to determine the source of the commotion, and wrestled a third chair from his brother-in-law as he tried to throw it off the balcony.
A scuffle ensued, the details of which are in dispute.
The prosecutor alleged Mr Steinbeck did "whatever it took to get (his) way" and punched his brother-in-law five times in the head and arm, causing him to experience dizziness, bruising, cuts to his lip, and a dislocated finger, while Mrs Peasley was also punched in the face.
"He's punching everyone!" Mrs Peasley can be heard saying on the recording.
"He's going off his f*****g brain!"
Lawyer for the defence Vincent Pennisi said the couple charged at Mr Steinbeck, who acted in self defence.
Mr Steinbeck's recollection of the events changed several times during the hearing, both on the witness stand and in a recorded interview with police.
"Their hands were going everywhere, I couldn't tell you if they were punching or not punching, I'm not sure if they were making contact," Mr Steinbeck said on the witness stand.
"I couldn't even see who was in front of me."
Mr Steinbeck told the court he feared for his life when Mr Peasley grabbed him by the collar, and conceded that was when he punched him.
"I didn't want to hit him, (I thought) I'm going to die here," he said.
"I was in fear and in shock."
Magistrate Jennifer Batts is scheduled to hand down her sentencing for all four charges on December 1.
Originally published as Brother's desperate 'temper tantrum' over parents' will