MISSING: Rockhampton woman Chantal Barnett Photo Contributed
MISSING: Rockhampton woman Chantal Barnett Photo Contributed Contributed

Father of Chantal Barnett's kids gets jail term over assault

IT was clear Robert John Travers had been filling an emotional void with trouble.

Yesterday Rockhampton Magistrates Court heard Travers constantly felt an empty hole inside him following the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend Chantal Barnett, in early March last year.

That yearning took its toll when he was sentenced to eight months in prison for attacking a patron at the Victoria Tavern, on December 28, 2013.

Travers, in his early 30s, pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault, one count of failing to provide a sample of his breath and possessing a knife in a public place.

The court heard Travers' defence solicitor Matthew Heelan said his client often found solace in drinking alcohol, especially when his children to the missing Ms Barnett would ask him, "when is mummy coming home?".

Police prosecutor Constable Manon Barwick said around 11pm on the night, Travers was about to attack a group of Victoria Tavern patrons, with a sharp letter opener, when another man stepped in to try to stop him.

The patron who intervened told police Travers raised the sharp object and said, "I'm going to stab you with it".

He also threatened other patrons, with colourful language, for not helping him in a fight earlier.

Mr Heelan said Travers was told to leave the pub earlier that evening after he knocked over a glass of beer at the tavern.

When he stepped outside, another patron attacked him before he left in a vehicle.

The court heard Travers returned and threatened the other patrons for not helping him in the previous fight.

Magistrate Barry Cosgrove advised Travers to start making good choices for the sake of himself and his children.

Travers was immediately released on parole.


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