ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

Though the shire council has made numerous efforts to improve the lighting in Apex Park, one local man is still terrified of walking through there alone after dark.

Gregor Madden, a defenceless literary agent, often takes the long way home around the park after the sun goes down.

Especially, says the 28-year-old, if he’s been binge drinking with friends in the Old City district.

Apex Park divides the French Quarter from the Old City and its name has long been synonymous with muggings and general knife crime, which is why Madden won’t risk it.

“I’ve been mugged walking through that park so many times,” said the French Quarter resident.

“Come home just shitfaced from the Old City after dark, just looking like a wounded gazelle. One minute, you’re stumbling down the path, the next some hood is waving a Stanley knife if your face asking for your phone and wallet,”

“It cuts off about 20 minutes, but seriously. It’s just not worth it.”

Back in 2013, Gregor was held up at knifepoint six times in one month – each time losing his wallet and phone.

That was until he started carrying a snub-nose .38 down the back of his trousers for protection.

A short time after that, Gregor wounded a mugger before chased him o into the woods, where he repeatedly shot the person who tried to rob him.

Police then allege he decapitated the man and stuck his head on a spike at the French Quarter entrance to the park.

Ultimately, he was found not guilty by reasons of self-defence.

“I got sick of it, I got sick of being scared all the time,” he said.

“The cops took my gun away, though. So until they give it back, I’m still too scared to walk through the park after dark.”

More to come.



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