turtons-creek1ONE of the victims of the horrific assault on two South Gippsland Shire Council staff members at Turtons Creek last May is still in a bad way.

Local Laws Enforcement Officer Justin Eades told the Supreme Court in Morwell this week that he has still been unable to work as a result of on-going health issues associated with the attack more than 12 months ago.

“I have been diagnosed with anosmia, that is I’ve got no sense of taste or smell. I have a lack of processing and cognitive skills, I’m suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), clinical depression and I suffer from neck and head pain daily,” he said.

Under questioning from the State Prosecutor Campbell Thomson, he told the court that he spent two weeks in the neurological ward at the Alfred Hospital after the incident, in which he was hit several times in the head with a scaffolding pipe, suffering the effects of a traumatic head injury including a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

Despite these afflictions, Mr Eades was able to help beat off an attack on his work mate, Manager of Regulatory Services Matthew Patterson, on the morning of Monday, May 25 last year, and also stand up to cross-examination of his testimony during the trial of Jonas Black, 46 of Turton’s Creek, the man charged with allegedly trying to kill the two shire workers.

The incident took place on a remote property at McCartin’s Road Turtons Creek just after 10am on May 25th when the two shire staff members visited the site to inspect buildings that had been the subject of an on-going dispute between Mr Black and the council since 2013.

During a trial before Justice Jane Dixon and a 12-person jury, the events leading up to the attack, including quiet celebrations for Mr Black’s birthday on the Saturday beforehand, were discussed. The violent incident, allegedly over within 15 minutes of the officers arriving at the property, and the aftermath, during which Mr Eades shared a smoke with his attacker and Mr Black’s girlfriend attended to the man’s wounds, were all aired.

However while there has been no attempt by Mr Black’s defence counsel, Sarah Leighfield, to deny her client carried out the attack on the two men, she has vigorously rejected claims the assault was premeditated or that Black dug a hole two metres long and half-a-metre deep nearby two days before the prearranged meeting.

At one stage during the evidence given by Mr Black’s girlfriend of six years, Ms Leighfield asked about a telephone conversation the pair had, 14 days later, while Mr Black was in custody: “When I saw him roll up in that car, in his three-piece suit, I just snapped,” she said Black had told his girlfriend while apologising for the making “such a poor decision”.

The trial, which continues today at Morwell, is set to run into next week.