Knife-wielding ATM menace walks free
A KNIFE-wielding Gatton man who spat on the door handles of the town’s hospital has been dubbed “not suitable for probation”.
Moments after landing a four-figure fine for a slew of offences, Marcus Fletcher Kennedy strode from Gatton Magistrates Court, slamming the door behind him.
He had just pleaded guilty to six charges, including wilful damage, public nuisance, possessing a knife in a public place and obstructing a police officer.
The court heard Kennedy had offended across three dates and had come to police attention on May 2, after members of public reported a man was armed with a knife on Patrick Street, Laidley.
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Police prosecutor Sergeant Alister Windsor said CCTV footage helped police link Kennedy to the allegations.
“He had been reportedly making gestures towards members of the public,” Sgt Windsor said.
“On the CCTV footage, the person could be seen ride a bicycle into Patrick St, in and around the area of the Commonwealth Bank ATM.”
The court heard Kennedy had loomed closely behind an older man who was using the ATM at the time.
“The defendant didn’t use the ATM himself, but he has sat down at a park bench close to the ATM,” Sgt Windsor said.
“A woman with two children has approached the ATM and the defendant has stood up and retrieved a large knife from his backpack and sat back down, holding the knife in plain view.”
The court heard Kennedy had continued watching ATM users before returning the knife to his backpack and cycling away.
Four days later, police tracked down Kennedy but, the court heard, he refused to speak with the officers and fled.
He didn’t stop when asked but police caught up with him and brought him to the Gatton police station.
The court heard he was granted bail, but within two days, breached terms which sought to prevent him from loitering in the Laidley CBD.
At 10.50am on May 8, Kennedy was spotted “acting erratically”.
“He was punching walls, making threatening gestures towards members of the public,” Sgt Windsor said.
When police arrived, Kennedy was sitting outside the Laidley IGA and accused the police of harassing him.
Sgt Windsor said police had asked witnesses including those working at nearby businesses and heard Kennedy had been “yelling most notably at himself”.
“He also had been seen to make a pistol gesture with his hand and gunshot noises towards members of the public, to which they took issue,” Sgt Windsor said.
He struck again on July 1, this time tricking his way into Laidley Hospital.
Police received a call reporting a man was causing a disturbance and had damaged the hospital doors.
Sgt Windsor said a doctor from the hospital had described to police how Kennedy had used the intercom to ask to be let in and allowed to stay overnight and then for a glass of water.
Once inside, he went upstairs without permission, refusing to leave even when threatened with a call to police.
“He said go ahead and call the police,” Sgt Windsor said.
“He was observed to spit saliva onto the doors and the external door handle – shortly after, the doctor went into the room and saw the automatic door was now stuck in a wide open position.”
Kennedy pleaded guilty to six charges and told Magistrate Damien Carroll he had been “probably drunk” at the time.
Mr Carroll told Kennedy he seemed to have “scant regard for members of the public”.
“Your manner here today suggests you’re somewhat resentful of authority so I don’t think you would be suitable for probation,” Mr Carroll said.
“Every day of the week we hear about people being killed or seriously injured by other people using knives.
“I can well understand why a lady with two kids would feel threatened, fearful because some young idiot like you is pulling a knife out of his backpack.”
He did not grant Kennedy probation, and instead fined him $1500 and advised him to have it converted to 75 hours of community service.
“(It is one way to) put something back into the community instead of bludging and being an absolute p--s, which you have been.”
Convictions were recorded for the charges.
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