‘I spent seven months in jail for carrying a knife’
A knife which a toothless man told a court he used to cut his fruit landed him in jail on remand for seven "frustrating" months.
Peter Petkov, 66, felt underwhelmed on Wednesday despite successfully appealing his sentence for possessing a knife in public.
No court order can return 226 days he spent in jail fearing other inmates while he awaited a trial over an incident at Mooloolaba Wharf on November 3 last year.
"I saw lots of terrible things (in jail)," Petkov told the Daily.
"It was scary and I was provoked to fight people two or three times for no reason."
Petkov, who has spent much of his recent years sleeping rough, said he felt frustrated and confused in jail and still didn't understand why he wasn't granted bail.
Prosecutor Kathryn Adams said a bail affidavit indicated Petkov had no fixed address to be bailed to and had some prior convictions.
On June 15, magistrate Matthew McLaughlin found Petkov not guilty of entering a premises with intent and demanding property with menace with intent to steal.
Petkov was found guilty of only possessing the knife.
Mr McLaughlin sentenced Petkov to 226 days in jail, considering he had already served the time in pre-sentence custody.
He was also banned from Mooloolaba Wharf.
Mr McLaughlin had rejected Petkov's argument he was using the knife to cut an apple.
But Petkov still maintains that was the case.
"I had a few apples in my backpack to cut because I can't bite," he said.
"I don't have teeth.
"I used the knife to cut fruit or tomato or anything like that, that I can't bite."
Upon his release from jail, Petkov set out to appeal his conviction and his sentence.
Ms Adams on Wednesday conceded that the sentence was excessive.
While Petkov's appeal against conviction was dismissed, Judge Gary Long set aside the jail sentence and banning order.
He instead recorded a conviction and imposed no punishment, considering Petkov's time on remand.
Judge Long said there was no lawful basis for Petkov to seek compensation for his time spent in jail.
"It's misconceived that just because you were in jail, because you were denied bail and then found not guilty of some offences but guilty of another, that you have any basis for seeking compensation," Judge Long said.
Petkov said he still didn't understand why he spent so long in jail.
"So they can put me in jail and that's it?" he said.
Outside court, Petkov said he was heading to Cairns where he would use his camping gear until he found more permanent accommodation.
He said he would seek legal advice regarding his time spent in jail.