A Westport man had a lucky escape on Boxing Day after an
armed burglar attacked him with a steel bar.
The 46-year-old intruder broke into the Rintoul Street house
brandishing the bar just before midnight on December 26, and
attacked the male occupant, police said.
Sergeant Steve Baddock said the victim, also aged 46,
narrowly escaped serious injury.
"Police who were in the area at the time were able to rush
into the house, and arrest the offender while he was
attacking the occupant, averting what could have been an
extremely serious assault.
"As it was, the victim received bruising to his body and his
forearms mainly as he was deflecting the blows from the steel
The victim was later taken to hospital for treatment for his
The alleged attacker had been in a previous relationship with
the female occupant of the house.
Mr Baddock said the man was well-known to Westport police.
He had been charged with aggravated burglary, injuring with
intent to cause grievous bodily harm, trespass, and
threatening to kill.
He was currently in police custody and police would oppose
bail, Mr Baddock said.
Meanwhile, police are warning Westport bars to be wary of
selling booze to anyone who's drunk.
The warning follows an alcohol-fuelled brawl on Boxing Day
night outside the Criterion Hotel on Palmerston Street.
Mr Baddock said the fight erupted after drinkers in the hotel
hit the street.
"A number of patrons spilled out from that hotel and began
fighting. Police are investigating and will be looking to
identify offenders from video footage.
"Anyone who can be identified fighting can expect to be
Mr Baddock warned bars not to sell alcohol to drunk
"We have noticed a considerable surge in offending for the
time of year, in relation to liquor. That includes disorder
and domestic violence - all alcohol-related.
"Police are urging liquor licence holders, and suppliers of
alcohol, to be conscious and wary of who they are selling to,
that they are not intoxicated."
Mr Baddock said the influx of people from out of town
sometimes provoked locals, who didn't want to share their
liquor, to start fights.
- By Ben Aulakh of the Westport News