Assault has community on edge

A HILLIER resident is in a serious, but stable, condition in hospital, after the 59-year-old was found inside his home with life-threatening head injuries on Sunday.

Police attended Peter Phyland’s Hillier Road home, which is a poultry farm, at about 12.30pm on Sunday, after an unidentified 24-year-old male raised the alarm.

Mr Phyland was taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital with life-threatening head injuries, but has since improved to being in a serious, but stable, condition.

Speaking in a press conference on Sunday, Barossa police Officer in Charge Chief Inspector Alby Quinn could not confirm the relationship the 24-year-old man had with Mr Phyland.

“At this stage, we are asking anyone that may know the occupant from this address, or be familiar with the address, or have any information as to what they may have seen overnight to contact Crime Stoppers,” he said.

“At this stage, we have detectives on scene and information that the public may have would be very helpful to our investigation.”

A South Australia Police spokesperson told The Bunyip yesterday that the investigation into the incident remains ongoing, with no further details able to be provided at this stage.

Hillier Park Residential Village manager Martin Banham said the local community was concerned about the incident, but residents are trying to remain as calm as possible.

“As expected, people are a bit nervous because we don’t know if it is a random attack, or whether it is domestic violence or employee- related or drug-related – really, who would know?” he said.

“You don’t want to make (assumptions) about anyone, but when you can’t rule anything out, then everything is left in.

“I think people are a little inclined to be patient – nervously patient, you might say – because random attacks, as I understand it, are relatively rare, but, at the same time, they do happen.

“They are nervous because it is so close to home, but people don’t view themselves in the same kind of situation here; they have got neighbours close at hand, they look out for each other, they are aware of who is around.”

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at

Police advise anyone offering information can remain anonymous.


Growing up in Roseworthy and attending Kapunda High School, Laura joins The Bunyip in June, 2016 whilst completing the final year of a double degree in Journalism and International Relations at University of SA. This is Laura's first role as a Journalist following a stint at Gawler Council in the Communications Department. She will cover the news in the Playford and Mallala council regions. Outside of work, Laura enjoys anything health and well-being related, and can be regularly seen shopping for fresh, healthy produce at local markets.

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