Updated on September 7, 2020.
After enduring months of agitation that consisted of ringing the doorbell and running away four or five times each day, Derek Graham Roach was at his wit’s end.
The unrelenting harassment understandably angered the 62- year old Perth resident. After several ring and run incidents, on December 11 at 5:45 pm, Mr Roach dashed out to confront the culprits.
Mr Roach discovered the eight-year-old perpetrator near his house, caught him by the shoulder and slapped him four or five times. He then escorted the child home to his mother.
Mr Roach was charged and taken to court. Richard Lawson, of Lawson Legal, served as Mr Roach’s defence counsel. Lawson vigorously contended that Mr Roach did not race out of his home with the intent of harming the culprit. Instead, Mr Roach was caught up in the emotion of the precipitating events and acted on this emotion. Mr Roach reacted in a way that many people would react if experiencing the same situation.
The outcome of the trial caused a great deal of outcry among the members of Mr Roach’s community. The court found Mr Roach guilty of common assault. His punishment is a fine of $1,000.
According to defence counsel, Mr Lawson, there was a tremendous outpouring of encouragement from the community which surprised and somewhat overwhelmed Mr Roach.
Roach received more than 60 emails from those in his community expressing their support. Some of those who contacted Mr Roach offered to pay some or all of his $1,000 fine.
Attorney Lawson reports that the show of solidarity from members of his community has meant a lot to Mr Roach. He is feeling much better now. The fact that he knows so many in his community understood the motivations behind his regrettable actions is comforting. In fact, some members of the community went so far as saying that in the same position, they would likely behave in the same way.