Man's meat cleaver rage after stuffed toy thrown on fire
AN INSKIP camper who "lost the plot" when a woman threw his treasured soft toy on the fire, has apologised in court for threatening to kill her with a meat cleaver.
Beenleigh man Scott Matthew Owen, 28, was camping at Inskip Point's Beagle camping area on October 1, this year when one of the women he was travelling with threw his stuffed toy dog on the camp fire.
A police prosecutor, addressing Gympie Magistrates Court on Thursday, said Owen flew into a rage and grabbed a meat cleaver, threatening to kill her and bury her in the sand.
Alarmed campers called 000 at 10am, but by the time police arrived the situation had defused and the group was packing to leave the camp ground.
Officers arrested Owen and found the meat cleaver in the back of his car.
Owen represented himself before the court this week, dressed casually as he pleaded guilty to committing public nuisance and possessing a knife in public.
He spoke softly as he recalled the incident.
"I didn't chase her around the camp site," he said.
He admitted to saying he was "going to hurt her", but his partner, who was also travelling with the group, convinced him to put the knife away.
He told the court the outburst was out of character for him, but the toy was of great personal value.
"It's never happened before," he said.
"I just lost the plot when my toy dog got thrown on the fire."
He asked if the court could return the cleaver, which he described as "a family heirloom from World War 1".
"It's very valuable to my family," he said.
Magistrate G. Hillan said the property must be forfeited to the Crown, but he could make an application with police for its return.
Mr Hillan agreed the offences were out of character for Owen, whose history only involved drug matters.
He fined Owen $800 with convictions recorded.