No get out of jail free card

Fa­ther fac­ing Christ­mas in cus­tody after angry Cen­tre­link ‘ex­plo­sion’

Isis Town and Country - - News - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

THREE chil­dren will be with­out their fa­ther on Christ­mas Day after he was re­fused bail last week.

Luke Michael Otto, 24, ap­peared in Childers Mag­is­trates Court after be­ing charged with two counts of wil­ful and un­law­ful dam­age.

Otto al­legedly be­came ag­gres­sive at Childers’ Cen­tre­link of­fice on Tues­day after a fe­male staff mem­ber “spoke to (him) like crap”, be­fore smash­ing a stereo speaker inside the of­fice and punch­ing through a front door win­dow.

He tried to ex­plain his outburst was a re­ac­tion to Cen­tre­link ap­par­ently not de­posit­ing a pay­ment to him on time and ar­gued to Mag­is­trate John Smith the outburst was not his typ­i­cal be­hav­iour.

“I’m not an angry per­son,” he rea­soned. “I just had an ex­plo­sion.”

The “ex­plo­sion” was a costly one for Otto, but it was not as ex­pen­sive as his decision to ig­nore a no­tice to ap­pear at Nanango Mag­is­trates Court on Fe­bru­ary 24.

Otto said he failed to at­tend court as he and his fam­ily had moved to Vic­to­ria to follow em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, work­ing dur­ing the tomato har­vest.

“I was 1600km away, sit­ting in a trac­tor from eight ’til eight ev­ery day,” Otto said.

Mr Smith ruled the 24-year-old failed to pro­vide an ad­e­quate ex­pla­na­tion for his no-show and fined Otto $500 for the in­dis­cre­tion.

Otto’s pre­vi­ous non-ap­pear­ance had more se­ri­ous con­se­quences when Mr Smith re­fused his ap­pli­ca­tion for bail.

“We don’t want you run­ning away again,” Mr Smith said.

Otto un­suc­cess­fully pleaded with Mr Smith to re­con­sider the decision to refuse bail and was es­corted from the room by po­lice.

“I’m not an angry per­son,” Otto said.

“I’ve grown up a bit, sir – I’ve had two kids since those (prior in­ci­dents).

“They didn’t pay us on time so we’ve fallen be­hind on rent.

“We’ve fallen be­hind on all of our pay­ments.”

Out­side court, Otto loudly con­tin­ued to ask for the bail re­fusal to be over­turned as he was hand­cuffed.

He is sched­uled to ap­pear at Childers Mag­is­trates Court on Jan­uary 23.

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