A man has appealed his sentence after he repeatedly breached an AVO protecting his neighbours.
A man has appealed his sentence after he repeatedly breached an AVO protecting his neighbours. John Weekes

Man made 'animal noises' and threatened neighbours

A STONY Chute man who hurled abuse at his neighbours for months has appealed his sentence.

Todd Owen Dean, 50, had been sentenced to 18 months' prison - 10 months without parole - over three breaches of apprehended violence orders.

He faced Lismore District Court via video link from Grafton Correctional Centre for a sentence appeal hearing on Tuesday.

After being called to give evidence, Dean agreed with Judge Wells that he'd engaged in "bullying" behaviour.

But he told the court he didn't understand, at the time, the consequences of breaching a court order.

"I don't understand why you went on for months with the ... yelling," Judge Wells said.

"Do you understand it's serious to breach an AVO?

"What's the point in the courts making an order ... if you don't think the courts can do anything about it when people breach them?"

Dean replied: "I understand now".

The months of breaches, most recently in September last year, involved Dean hurling abuse, making threats and "animal noises" at his neighbours persistently.

This was on the basis of a hearsay allegation one of them had stolen a swag from him, the court heard.

Dean's solicitor, Rod Behan, conceded the offences were "serious", primarily because of the duration they were ongoing.

"It's conceded, given the persistent offending, there needs to be some form of specific deterrence," Mr Behan said.

He suggested an intensive corrections order would be appropriate.

But Crown prosecutor Peter Woods said: "it appears to be a matter that requires a custodial sentence".

Judge Wells said the victims "have a right to a peaceful enjoyment of their property without that conduct".

She said it was in Dean's favour that he stopped when he was charged, but a comment he made to Community Corrections that he accepted "50 per cent of the blame" for the incidents did not assist him.

The court heard a report found he "didn't exhibit much insight" into his offending.

But she granted the appeal and gave Dean a 12 month ICO, noting a breach of that order would place him not before the court, but before the parole board.