Scott Alex Clough jailed for 20 months over Islington axe attack

OVERREACTION: Some of the damage done to Justin Hall's car at Islington on August 17. The man responsbile, Scott Alex Clough, was jailed for a maximum of 20 months, with a non-parole period of 10 months in Tamworth Local Court.
OVERREACTION: Some of the damage done to Justin Hall's car at Islington on August 17. The man responsbile, Scott Alex Clough, was jailed for a maximum of 20 months, with a non-parole period of 10 months in Tamworth Local Court.

A MAN who smashed up a car with an axe and struck the driver in the face with the handle over a minor parking dispute at Islington has been jailed for a maximum of 20 months in Tamworth Local Court. 

Scott Alex Clough, 44, of Werris Creek, told police he “just snapped” when Justin Hall didn’t immediately move his car outside the Gateway Hotel in George Street about 4.45pm on August 17. 

Clough represented himself in Newcastle Local Court in September when he pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, armed with intent to commit an indictable offence, destroy or damage property and intimidation.

And Clough was unrepresented again in Tamworth Local Court on Monday when magistrate Roger Prowse jailed him for a maximum of 20 months, with a non-parole period of 10 months.

Clough will be eligible for release on parole in August, 2018. It was a misunderstanding between two strangers that could easily have been resolved peacefully.

Instead, Clough launched a “completely unprovoked attack” that left Mr Hall scared for his life, according to a statement of police facts. 

Clough was in a white utility, affixed with CLOUGHY number plates, outside the Gateway Hotel when Mr Hall came outside and got into his Toyota Camry, which was parked in front of Clough’s ute. 

Mr Hall unlocked his car, which he told police always triggers a beep, with that sound prompting Clough to beep back and yell at Mr Hall.

But Mr Hall wasn’t intending to leave right away and was waiting to charge his phone, police facts state.

Clough attempted to drive off but thought he was boxed in.

He then threw a half eaten devon roll at Mr Hall’s car and got out of his vehicle, telling Mr Hall: “Can you drive off so I can get my car out. “You are going to make me miss these lights”. 

Mr Hall told him he would be “gone in a second”. 

But then Clough got into his car, drove up alongside Mr Hall’s Camry, got out and retrieved an axe from the tray of his ute.

He used the axe to smash Mr Hall’s driver’s side window, looked inside and abused Mr Hall, before swinging the axe at the front windscreen, the blade penetrating the glass. 

Clough then leaned inside the vehicle and hit Mr Hall in the nose with the end of the handle, terrifying Mr Hall who screamed out for help because he thought Clough was going to kill him. 

Clough then stood up and swung the axe at the roof the Camry, causing a large gash before he got in his car and drove off.