FILE PHOTO: A machete
FILE PHOTO: A machete Contributed

Man with machete threatens to behead neighbour

NOT ONLY did a Gladstone man threaten to cut off his neighbours head while holding a machete, but also told police if they came near him, he would "eat their faces".

Benjamin Joseph McGrath pleaded guilty from behind bars at the Gladstone Magistrates Court to 10 charges; the most serious including serious assault of a police officer, threatening violence while discharging a weapon and two counts of wilful damage.

The court was told that the 37-year-old suffered from random psychotic episodes; however was declared to be 'sound of mind' at the time of offending.

The offending occurred between dates January 27 - March 3.

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Both Gladstone Magistrate Melanie Ho and police prosecutor sergeant Barry Stevens agreed that the most serious offending was the threats of violence and serious assaults.

Police were called on March 3 to a residence in Boyne Island after McGrath tried to 'coax' his neighbour into his backyard, while dragging his machete along his side of the fence.

McGrath told his neighbour he was going to cut his head off.

A triple zero call had police arrive quickly on scene; McGrath threatened to kill the officers, cut off their faces and eat them.

He was restrained and taken to the watch-house, but a search of his house revealed a number of drug-related items.

Unhappy with being placed in a jail cell, McGrath decided to flood the room by stuffing boxes of tissues in the toilet, causing water to flood the whole area.

He had spent up to 148 days in custody for these offences and for prior offending in February, which saw about $700 in damages to a Boyne Island church and more threats made to police.

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On February 16 McGrath was seen being abusive and aggressive towards random people on the street at Boyne Island.

An officer in the area was confined to a police vehicle after McGrath approached and began to acta ggresively, including throwing his sunglasses at the car, punching windows and screaming threats to kill.

The officer sprayed McGrath with capsicum spray; causing him to take off his shirt and dive into the Boyne River.

The officer called for back up, and McGrath was arrested.

Taking the time he had already served into account, Ms Ho ordered McGrath to a six-month term of imprisonment be released immediately on parole.

She also placed him on a two-year non-contact order with his former neighbour, and told McGrath he would need to pay for the damages to the church.

A conviction was recorded.



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