Eight police assaulted in machete knife rage

A GYMPIE father armed with four knives and a machete told eight police officers to shoot him in the head in a stand-off at his Curra home.

Murray Anthony McCaul, 51, stood outside his home on January 5 this year, threatening to harm police, Gympie Magistrates Court heard yesterday.

"(Expletive) off! I'll cut you up!" he yelled at them while armed with the weapons.

The threats forced the officers to raise their weapons at McCaul as he approached them with the knives pointed at them.

"That's how I want it, straight in the (expletive) head...," he said. "Come on. Bring it on. I mean it I don't give a (expletive). Shoot me!"

When he ignored police calls to drop the five knives, they fired.

He dropped to the ground; officers were then forced to fire a second time when he refused to show his hands.

Magistrate M Baldwin said it was possible McCaul would not be alive had police not handled the situation as well as they did.

McCaul's defence lawyer, Chris Anderson, said mental health problems and emotional stress had caused McCaul to spiral into drug and alcohol abuse which peaked after his wife told him to leave.

He said McCaul had asked mental health services for help but he was turned away.

It was "such an unfortunate situation... mental health authorities failed to intervene", Mr Anderson said.

McCaul was remorseful about the showdown and had since gone into rehab and worked to recover.

"I accept that you would be very remorseful and very grateful that the police were so well at handling it," Mrs Baldwin said.

She said the eight counts of serious assault of police while armed, and one count of seriously obstructing police and threatening violence were serious offences in "tragic" circumstances.

With two months jail already served, McCaul was sentenced to nine months jail to be served in the community as an intensive correction order on each count of seriously assaulting police, and four months jail suspended for two years for threatening violence. He was also convicted but not further punished for seriously obstructing police.

Gympie Times


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