NOTORIOUS duo Daniel Roberts and Shashanth Shankar Tellakula Gowrishankar are back in the court system again - but this time as victims.
A Newcastle tradesman who threatened to kill Mr Roberts and assaulted him over a $64,000 debt he claimed was owed to his scaffolding company, was sentenced to 200 hours community service in Newcastle Local Court this week.
Stevo Konjarski, 57, of New Lambton, pleaded guilty to intimidating and assaulting Mr Roberts in February at a Wallsend development site owned by Mr Roberts and Mr Shankar.
The duo, who are developing 20 units on the site, have been linked to a string of construction and financial disasters across the Hunter, that have left victims millions of dollars out of pocket.
In late 2018, the Supreme Court's Justice Robert MacDougall - ruling in a dispute involving Mr Shankar and Mr Roberts against a Hunter developer - accused the pair of using phoenix companies to avoid paying building industry debts.
"There is, in my view, very strong evidence that Mr Roberts and Mr Shankar have engaged in structuring their affairs in such a way so as to avoid, wherever possible, paying their liabilities," Justice McDougall said.
A Newcastle Herald investigation revealed in November 2019 that the pair are linked to numerous building companies accused of leaving a string of construction and financial disasters.
On Wednesday, solicitor John Anthony, appearing for Konjarski, said his client accepts that he would have been intimidating when he went to the development site to demand payment.
The court heard that of the $64,000 that Konjarski said was owed to his family business, only $12,000 was profit.
"He said it sent him for a six when he couldn't get that money," Mr Anthony said. "They don't live flamboyantly...they don't drive flash cars."
In contrast, Mr Roberts is a BMW driving, former bankrupt who Justice McDougall said appeared to use phoenix companies.
According to the statement of facts tendered to the court on Wednesday, Konjarski went to the development site in Abel St, Wallsend, on Friday, February 12, about 2pm where Mr Roberts was living and working.
"I'm going to give you one last chance to pay me the money you owe or I'm going to send people down to hurt and collect," Konjarski said.
Mr Roberts told police he asked Konjarski how much he thought he was owed and when he responded more than $60,000, he said it was "extortion" and ordered the scaffolder to leave.
Konjarski then started shouting at Mr Shankar about the money.
"I have been to your house in the last two weeks and have left a letter," he said.
"I think you are smarter than him and I would make arrangements to pay the money. It doesn't take long to have someone come to your house and break your legs."
As Konjarski left, Mr Roberts followed him down the stairs of the two-storey unit yelling "get out, get out".
Konjarski responded: "You're a c.... I'm going to kill you. You haven't heard the end of it, it's going to get bad really quickly."
Konjarski then let loose throwing punches and kicking, one kick connected with Mr Roberts' right knee and a punch hit his shoulder.
About 30 minutes later Mr Roberts reported the assault at Waratah Police Station, presenting photos and CCTV footage.
Magistrate Ron Maiden sentenced Konjarski to a 12 months Community Corrections Order, including 200 hours of unpaid community work.
Mr Roberts and Mr Shankar have repeatedly declined to speak to the Newcastle Herald.
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