A ‘portly’ former Central Desert Council employee, who was angry about being called a ‘fat prick’ by a young relative, rammed his brother with his car after the siblings engaged in a fight involving a boomerang, the NT Supreme Court has heard.
Michael Reiff, 45, attacked his brother, 46, in the remote community of Harts Range, about 150km north east of Alice Springs on January 27.
Reiff’s brother assaulted him with a boomerang after confronting him over an incident involving their auntie’s 11-year-old granddaughter earlier that day.
The court heard Reiff became angry after the granddaughter began teasing him about his gut, calling him a “fat prick”, so he hit her with a broomstick in retaliation.
Reiff’s brother heard about the incident and later confronted him, striking him in the collarbone with a boomerang, causing Reiff to get in his car and attempt to mow his sibling down.
After missing his brother once, Reiff became more incensed after his relative threw the boomerang at the car, breaking its front windscreen.
He drove again at speed towards his brother, who had taken refuge behind a six-foot high gate secured with concrete posts.
This did not deter Reiff who slammed his vehicle into the gate, causing the poles to buckle back and hit his brother with significant force, sending him flying three metres backwards.
Despite rendering his sibling unconscious from the blow, Reiff was more concerned about the damage to his vehicle, shouting “look what you made me do to my car” and “you wrecked my car”.
Reiff’s brother was transported by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to the Alice Springs Hospital suffering multiple rib fractures, a fractured collarbone and underlying bleeding into his chest cavity.
He was transferred to Royal Adelaide Hospital three weeks later to drain fluid which had accumulated around his lungs.
Justice Peter Barr said Reiff’s actions were serious and demonstrated he had an anger problem.
“You told the court that the 11-year-old girl had been teasing you about your gut … she had called you a “fat prick”,” he said.
“You are a portly gentleman and you are sensitive about your weight.
“Hitting an 11-year-old girl with a broomstick because she teased you about your gut and getting angry enough to drive a car at your brother … suggests that anger management is a significant issue for you.
“The bleeding into the chest cavity could have compromised your brother’s ability to breathe and caused his death.”
The court heard Reiff also had significant criminal history, including doing donuts while drunk in front of the Harts Range Police Station and ram raiding the building twice in 2015.
Justice Barr sentenced Reiff to three years and four months in prison, suspended after 14 months.
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