Love triangle machete attack: “I‘m going to kill you, c--.”
A Rockhampton man's 47th birthday started with his partner admitting she had cheated on him and ended in hospital after he attempted to murder the man involved in the love triangle.
For this, Daniel John Shields, 49, was sentenced on Wednesday (March 17) to 14 years prison and a serious violent offender declaration was made, meaning he has to serve at least 80 per cent of his sentence - 11.2 years.
Shields was found guilty by a jury in the Supreme Court of Rockhampton on November 27, 2020, of the attempted murder of Raymond Jarvis on February 6, 2019, at a Gracemere residence.
Shields had been in a relationship with Mr Jarvis' former partner, Allison Whyte.
During this relationship, there had been many encounters between Shields and Mr Jarvis, including one where Shields wielded an axe at Mr Jarvis.
Read more here: The exchanges before the alleged attempted murder
On the day of the attempted murder, Ms Whyte told Mr Shields she had cheated on him by having sex with Mr Jarvis.
Read more here: Court: Cheating revealed before alleged attempted murder
Shields attended Mr Jarvis' residence that afternoon, knocking wheelie bins over, creating a noise and alerting Mr Jarvis and neighbours to his presence.
Mr Jarvis told the court during the trial he heard a commotion outside, which sounded like bins being thrown and someone yelling, so he went to check it out.
He said when he saw it was Mr Shields, he understood him to be yelling that he (Mr Jarvis) had ruined Shield's life.
Shields turned away, which Mr Jarvis thought meant the defendant was walking back to his car, so he too turned to walk back into his house.
Mr Jarvis claimed he turned back to go inside and then heard footsteps running up behind him when he was about five metres from his front door.
"I heard a ting on the back of my head," he said.
Shields had grabbed a machete from his car, where police later located a tomahawk in the front passenger footwell along with a baseball bat in the back seat plus a second tomahawk and a tyre lever in the boot.
During the trial, crown prosecutor Joshua Phillips described the incident as 'cowardly' due to the first alleged strike coming from behind as Mr Jarvis walked back to his front door.
He said Mr Jarvis "was in a fight for his life".
Mr Jarvis told the court Shields stood there with the machete and said "I'm going to kill you, c--."
He said Mr Shields then attempted to stab him with the machete, using upward motion thrusts.
The wound was so large, an expert witness described it as being so big, he "couldn't quite get my fist into" it.
Read more here: 'This was a wound that I couldn't quite get my fist into'
"I knew I couldn't turn because at that point I was up against a fence at my door," Mr Jarvis said.
"There was a stick beside … I didn't have time to raise the stick."
Mr Jarvis said he used the 'stick', which was a fence paling about 1.5 metres in length, to block the machete before he felt it hit his arm.
"I dropped the stick," he said.
Mr Jarvis said after his "arm popped", he focused on the machete, using his left arm to grab the hand Shields allegedly had the weapon in.
"We struggled," he said.
"Somehow it's (the machete) cut his arm."
Mr Jarvis said the machete ended up on the ground and he jumped on top of it to stop Shields getting it and continuing to use it against him.
He laid on top of the machete and Shields stood on his back and demanded the machete be returned to him to "finish" Mr Jarvis "off".
Mr Jarvis alleged his teenage son came out of the house and asked if he needed help and Shields left the scene in his car.
Shields took the stand during the trial, putting an alternative version of events to the jury including claiming he 'blacked out'.
Read more here: Accused claims 'blackout' during alleged attempted murder
At Wednesday's sentencing, Mr Phillips argued there was evidence Shields was still unremorseful for the impact of his actions on Mr Jarvis.
He said the evidence showed Shields was only remorseful of the situation those actions had put him in - facing a long term in prison.
Mr Phillips pointed to two reference letters written by Shields' mother and older brother provided to the court for sentencing.
"They speak to a self-centred and self-focused consequence," he said.
Mr Phillips said the brother's letter spoke of the defendant "expressing deep remorse" to his mother and friends for "the situation he was in".
He said a three-page letter to the court written by the defendant had a repeat theme of "for a choice that has landed me in prison".
Mr Phillips said Shields had, through his defence team, asserted the intent to kill Mr Jarvis was formed after the initial confrontation with the victim.
He said the presence of the many weapons in the car indicated otherwise.
"It wasn't a fleeing intention," Mr Phillips said.
"It is impossible to find him a remorseful person."
Defence barrister Scott Moon said his client had spent the past few months reflecting on what he had done and was, as written in his letter to the court, remorseful for the impact of "pain and suffering inflicted" on Mr Jarvis and his family because of his action and he apologised.
Justice Graeme Crow questioned the defendant's statement of remorse.
"This incident occurred on February 6, 2019 - over two years ago … he is now remorseful," he said.
"It doesn't count for much when you've run a trial, given a version rejected by a jury."
Mr Moon reiterated the reflection comment, saying he had come full circle, with Shields saying "all I can ask for one day is forgiveness".
He told the court his client, who had been a victim of a dog attack as a child, suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks and anxiety.
The court heard Shields had not seen his three children for three years prior to the attempted murder attack after their mother moved them to Victoria.
His criminal record included a domestic violence offence and a conviction for going armed to cause fear (the axe incident).
Justice Crow said Shields' use of illicit drugs and abuse of alcohol led to the "disaster which occurred on your 47th birthday".
He said the weapons in Shields' car when he arrived at Mr Jarvis' Thora St residence in 2019 indicated a level of planning.
Shields, who was supported in court by his mother and her friends, had spent 765 days in presentence custody, meaning he won't be released from prison for at least nine years.
OTHER COURT NEWS: