Proserpine Magistrates Court, Main Street, Proserpine. Photo Deborah Friend.
Proserpine Magistrates Court, Main Street, Proserpine. Photo Deborah Friend.

Man caught with 18cm knife says he’s having a barbecue

A MAN caught with an 18cm knife in public has been let off with a fine and a warning in Proserpine Magistrates Court.

The court heard, on Monday, how Grenville Alan Burke, 44, was charged with public nuisance and possessing a knife in a public place, on December 28, 2019. He pleaded guilty to both charges.

Prosecutor Sergeant Emma Myors said Burke had been outside the Whitsunday Police Station, at about 5pm, and presented as intoxicated.

"He communicated with the police officer and swore at him, and they told him to stop but he told them they were c**ts," she said.

"He was taken into custody and they found a throwing knife, about 18cm in length, in his backpack."

Burke, who works in housekeeping for JJ's Cleaning Whitsunday and was representing himself, said he had just come back from seeing his children and had a few rums and became intoxicated.

"I took some chicken drumsticks from the fridge and went down to the police station with a young lady called Jody, who had to make a statement.

"I had spoons, knives and forks and I was having a barbecue across the road while I was waiting, and I went and asked how long she would be because the food was ready but I have a problem with authority and I started to swear at the police officer.

"I was finding it hard to communicate with them - I became agitated. I already knew I was drunk in a public place and when I got there, I didn't do myself any favours. I had a fork and dessert spoon, as well as the knife."

Burke also pleaded guilty to a third charge of breaching a bail condition as a result of failing to report at the Whitsunday Police Station, on November 27, 2019, as it was a condition of his bail that he report every Wednesday between 8.30am and 4pm.

He told police he got memory blockages.

Magistrate James Morton said Burke's criminal history told him he had had a troubled life.

"You have escalated things and caused the police to open your bag," he said.

"You should have stayed away and minded your own business. Try and clean up your act because the last thing you want to do is come back here and I send you to jail."

Magistrate James Morton fined Burke $300 in total for the three charges of breaching a bail condition, committing a public nuisance and possessing a knife in a public place. A conviction was recorded.


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