Backpacker held over alleged cop strangle attack

AN "ITINERANT" Danish stone layer living out of a 4WD has been denied bail for allegedly trying to strangle a police officer with his own seatbelt.

Jan Skovgaad, 53, has spent the last two months travelling Australia and living in a 4WD, and on the weekend found himself in a corner of Cairns probably not on his must-see list - the inside of the watch-house.

Mr Skovgaad allegedly brandished a knife when he asked someone for a cigarette on Saturday - but things got more serious for the tourist in the back of a police car.

It is alleged that police bodycam footage will show Mr Skovgaad using a seatbelt as a weapon against an officer.

He appeared in Cairns Magistrates Court charged with going armed to cause fear and assaulting police.

"He tried to choke an officer by pulling on the seat belt and threatened to kill the officer," Magistrate Joe Pinder said.

Aside from a gig in Norway working as a stone layer, not much is known about Mr Skovgaad.

"These are serious charges but it is unclear whether he has a history at this point," Carly Forsyth, defending, said. She told the court her client was in Australia on a 12-month tourist visa and asked he be bailed to reside with a friend at Trinity Beach.

Mr Pinder ruled that Mr Skovgaad had been "living an itinerant lifestyle" and had no ties in the region. He remanded the defendant into custody and adjourned the matter for mention in September.


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