STOKING THE FIRE: Scott Stoker pleaded guilty to multiple charges.
STOKING THE FIRE: Scott Stoker pleaded guilty to multiple charges. contributed

JAILED: Man who tried to cook snake destroys $20k cane field

A MAN who tried to cook a snake he found slithering on him after taking a nap in a cane field, and ended up burning down four hectares of sugarcane has been sentenced to two years imprisonment.

Scott Stoker, 32, appeared yesterday in custody in Bundaberg District Court and pleaded guilty to multiple charges including assault occasioning bodily harm, setting fire to a crop, burglary and wilful damage, public nuisance, assaulting a police officer and obstructing a police officer.

The court heard on May 30, Stoker had gone on a crime spree which started in Childers and ended twelve hours later in the Bundaberg watch house.

About 9am, Stoker had become angry at a female staff worker in the Childers Community Centre over a Centrelink payment mix-up and threw a phone at a wall.

He pulled out a gun-shaped lighter and threatened to "come back and shoot" her, before leaving the centre.

Minutes later, Stoker threatened and physically assaulted a stranger who had been walking along a pathway.

"Don't f-----g stare at me, c--t," Stoker had told the stranger. He then punched the man in the face and neck and ran into a cane field, where he fell asleep.

It was heard Stoker woke up and saw a carpet snake on him and decided to cook it. But "strong winds" caused the fire to spread. The court heard 4.13 hectares were lost, with an estimated value of $20,000.

Stoker ran from the fire, and came across a house he thought was "abandoned", used a screwdriver to get in to "search for food" but damaged shelving as he went through the house.

He fell asleep and awoke to a woman in her late 80s calling the police. When police arrived, Stoker was initially calm but soon began to struggle violently with police, headbutting windows, pulling officers' hair and was arrested and taken to the Bundaberg watch house.

Stoker continued to struggle with police with one female officer requiring medical treatment after she knocked her head.

Defence barrister Callan Cassidy said Stoker struggled with authority and aggression, and had been coming down from meth at the time of the offence.

Judge Jennifer Rosengren sentenced Stoker to two years imprisonment, with a parole release date of January 12, 2020.

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