A violent Australia Day ‘scuffle’ was allegedly sparked by borrowed sausages.
A violent Australia Day ‘scuffle’ was allegedly sparked by borrowed sausages.

Oz Day sausage scuffle sparked alleged attempted murder

A VIOLENT Australia Day "scuffle" that ended with a man being charged with attempted murder, allegedly began as a dispute over steak and sausages, court documents reveal.

Darryl Dighton, 49, was denied bail in the Darwin Local Court last week after police charged him with the attempted murder of Acacia Hills man James Tickle on January 26.

A statement of alleged facts tendered to the court and obtained by the NT News,reveals Dighton and Mr Tickle were "not known to each other" when Dighton drove his ute to Mr Tickle's property with his friend Adrian Bagley "to see if he could borrow some meat for dinner".

When it appeared no one was home, Dighton allegedly opened Mr Tickle's freezer and took out some steak and sausages before accelerating away causing the ute to fishtail and damaging the driveway.

Back at Dighton's place, he and Mr Bagley allegedly "had a few alcoholic drinks" before returning to Mr Tickle's house "to let them know he had taken some meat from the freezer".

Again finding no one there, Dighton returned home where his wife - who is a "close friend" of Mr Tickle's partner's family - began receiving text messages about the "skids" and missing meat.

"The victim was referring to the defendant as a 'grub' and (saying) that he should come over to sort out this matter," the court documents read.

At about 9.40pm, Dighton allegedly drove back to Mr Tickle's house with Mr Bagley where they saw him standing on the side of the road with a metal pole in one hand and a wooden club in the other.

"The defendant and victim walked towards each other to have a fight, with the defendant yelling at the victim to drop the weapons and fight like a man," the documents read.

In the ensuing scuffle, police allege Mr Tickle "struck (Dighton) with force to the forehead" and then twice more to the back of the head with the wooden club before Mr Bagley tried to break them up.

It was then Dighton allegedly yelled "He just hit me with a stick, jump into the vehicle and I will drive over the c***" before getting back into his ute and accelerating "directly at him, spinning its wheels".

"The front bumper of the Nissan utility struck the victim (with) force, causing him to fall to the ground and under the front of the vehicle," the documents read.

"The defendant reversed his Nissan utility a few metres and then again accelerated at the victim who was lying prone on the ground."

After Dighton allegedly again reversed over Mr Tickle, Mr Bagley started first aid and Dighton "exited the vehicle and collapsed".

Both men were taken to hospital and Mr Tickle was later flown to Adelaide for surgery where police said it was "unclear at this stage if the victim will be able to walk again".

Last week, Dighton's lawyer, Peter Maley, told the court he was in discussions with prosecutors on a potential plea if the charge was downgraded from attempted murder.

He returns to court on March 25.