HomeBreaking News‘Out of control’ man viciously tried to rip off uncle’s ear
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‘Out of control’ man viciously tried to rip off uncle’s ear


Markell Keanan Wayne Stapleton Ferguson, 21, had a “bone to pick” with his uncle when he viciously attacked him during a drunken argument.The Adelaide District Court on Monday heard Stapleton had to be pulled off his uncle by family members during his vicious assault on October 18, 2020 at Oodnadatta. “Further the defendant admitted, when interviewed, that he tried to rip the complainant’s ear during the scuffle and overall he admitted that he tried to kill his uncle on that occasion,” the prosecutor said. The prosecutor said the victim was lucky to not be more seriously hurt, with Stapleton kicking him to the head “as hard as he could”. “The defendant was the aggressor in this fight, even though the complainant first confronted the defendant,” the prosecutor said. “It was only after the complainant declined to fight him that he essentially lost it, blacked out and then committed the offences.”Stapleton told police he had had a “bone to pick” with the victim for about four years.Stapleton, of Yulura, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of assault.Sally Burgess, for Stapleton, told the court he was “very upset and highly emotional” when interviewed by police.“He told me he didn’t have any actual intention to kill his uncle, but he describes wanting to get locked up, and said he just wanted to get out of town,” she said.“He just didn’t care anymore, he wanted a one-way ticket and he even wanted to be locked up.”Ms Burgess said Stapleton had drunk half a carton and was significantly affected by alcohol at the time of the offending.The court heard Stapleton was making efforts to rehabilitate, including having undertaken anger management and alcohol counselling courses. “He acknowledges that on this occasion he lost control and it is his fault, no one else’s,” Ms Burgess said.“He says that he has not drunk alcohol since the incident and that primarily is because of the short, sharp shock that he received, the 10 days jail.”The court heard Stapleton, who was born in Port Augusta, went to boarding school at an eastern suburbs private school on a scholarship.The court heard Stapleton, who had worked in the hospitality and construction industry, was a father to a young child who he had never met.“He would love to travel to Darwin to see his daughter, to start a relationship properly with her,” Ms Burgess said.The court heard Stapleton is ashamed and embarrassed by his behaviour. “He was out of control and there is no excuse or justification,” Ms Burgess said. “This is the first time something like this has happened and I understand there haven’t been ongoing ramifications or family issues.“This really is a lapse … and a learning experience for a relatively young man still.”Judge Gordon Barrett will sentence Stapleton on Friday.

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