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Bullying row comes to blows as dads fight at school

TWO parents had an violent row in the administration office of an East Ipswich school over allegations one of their children was bullying another.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard police received multiple triple-0 calls from concerned parents and staff at the school after the altercation broke out.

One father, Damien Frederick Markham, said he was punched in the face by the other parent and fell back on the ground after the confrontation at the school.

The court heard Markham, 33, and the other father were arguing about one of their children harassing the other, although it was not clear which child was to blame.

During the fight, Markham smashed the glass on a door. When police arrived Markham was questioned and arrested. Police prosecutors were unable to confirm if the other father was charged.

On November 12 police went to Markham's address and questioned him about it. Markham admitted he had tried to take the law into his own hands, which is why he confronted the other father.

"He started yelling and hit me in the face - I fell back," Markham said.

He pleaded guilty to public nuisance and wilful damage, and was fined $600.

Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist said he was relieved no children witnessed the fight, but the circumstances surrounding the altercation were unacceptable.

"This court room is littered with people in here every day ... by people taking matters into their own hands," Mr Stjernqvist said. "It is serious in context."

Markham said he had since completed an anger management course and was extremely remorseful for his actions.

Topics:  bullying, damien frederick markham, east ipswich, ipswich magistrates court, public nuisance, wilful damage


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