15cm knife in arm went unnoticed

Andrew Gretton's truck was damaged with an excavator after a dispute about an unpaid bill.
Andrew Gretton's truck was damaged with an excavator after a dispute about an unpaid bill. David Neilsen

A MAN stabbed a client in the arm and crushed his truck with an excavator, causing $20,000 damage, because he was owed money.

Truck owner-driver Andrew Gretton asked Gordon Charles Edward McCreath, who works as an excavator, to dig holes and level land at his property in Laidley.

However, after the work was completed, there was a disagreement over how much money Gretton owed McCreath.

McCreath, 50, believed Mr Gretton owed him $2000, whereas the truck driver thought it was closer to $200.

The dispute boiled over on March 9 last year while Mr Gretton was visiting a friend at Atkinson Dam Waterfront Caravan Park.

Ipswich District Court heard McCreath parked his truck in the driveway, blocking the exit and then swung a punch at Mr Gretton, 44.

The pair scuffled before McCreath rushed to unload his excavator from his truck and Mr Gretton saw his arm was bleeding.

Crown prosecutor Clayton Wallis told the court Mr Gretton had not felt the injury but noticed a steak knife had been plunged all the way through his right arm and the blade was still embedded.

McCreath then used his excavator’s bucket to smash Mr Gretton’s truck, which was uninsured, at least four times, causing $20,208.22 damage.

The 15cm blade was removed from Mr Gretton’s arm at Ipswich Hospital and he took out a hefty loan to pay for his damaged truck.

McCreath told police he did not remember the stabbing but admitted damaging the truck for “grim satisfaction”.

He said: “He owed me money; he had every chance to pay me... You give me my money or I’ll take $2000 off your truck”.

McCreath pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and wilful damage.

He was sentenced to two years jail and will be released on parole after serving eight months.

Judge Sarah Bradley did not order McCreath to pay restitution due to imposing a jail sentence but said “I will leave that to your conscience.”

Mr Gretton spoke to The Queensland Times outside the courthouse and said he felt the sentence was too light.

“It’s an absolute joke,” Mr Gretton said.

Mr Gretton said his bills were still piling up from the truck repairs loan and the physical pain from the stab wound was with him every day.

“I can’t believe he got eight months,” he said.

“He’s got eight months; I’ve got three years to go on the loan.

“If I had a crystal ball I would’ve walked away from the truck and gone on the dole.”

Defence barrister Douglas Wilson said his client had an untreated post-traumatic stress disorder.

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