Snowpea argument leads to assault

A DISAGREEMENT over picking snowpeas led to a violent assault and a revenge bashing that left a man in hospital with multiple skull fractures, a court was told.

Bundaberg Magistrates Court heard the assaults occurred on June 19, 2009, after Mong Nguyen, a 50-year-old fruit picker from Avenell Heights, was asked by a farm supervisor to help another man finish harvesting his row of snowpeas, because the other man was not picking fast enough.

But the court was told the other picker thought Nguyen had “stepped on his toes” and, the next morning, the other man, his wife and son Steven Nguyen (no relation), ambushed him in his van and beat him with a metal tyre lever and picking belts.

Mong Nguyen told police he later retaliated by returning to the Goodwood Road farm with his son-in-law and his friend.

Nguyen drove the pair to and from the farm, where they allegedly found Steven Nguyen picking in a row and hit him with the timber and kicked him in the face a several times before returning to the vehicle.

Steven Nguyen was taken to Bundaberg Hospital with multiple fractures to his skull and face, and extensive bruising and swelling to his head and forearms.

An interview between Mong Nguyen and Bundaberg Police Detective Senior Constable Brendon Steindl was played to the court yesterday, in which the 50-year-old said he felt “angry and upset” about the attack.

He told Det Snr Const Steindl he went to the farm to speak with his supervisor, and his son-in-law and friend took a piece of timber in case the family attacked again.

Mong Nguyen's wife, Tanya Sherrie Nguyen, 38, of Avenell Heights, also took part in an interview, in which she admitted that she agreed the men should “go sort it out”.

But she said she did not think the situation would escalate and leave Steven Nguyen in hospital.

Mong and Tanya Nguyen stand charged with causing grievous bodily harm, but their son-in-law and his friend had their GBH charges dropped due to legal technicalities.

Steven Nguyen was convicted of attacking Mong Nguyen earlier this year and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

His parents were not charged in relation to the attack.

The committal hearing will continue on November 3, with Steven Nguyen and his father expected to be called to give evidence.

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