Mango men­ace has sen­tence re­duced

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

AN Air­lie Beach fruit and veg­etable store owner who had a con­ver­sa­tion with a stranger about mangoes, later copped threat­en­ing de­mands when she re­fused to sell his pro­duce.

Ray­mond Noel Petersen, who has just had a three-year jail sen­tence cut in half, sent the 77-year-old woman a pal­let of pro­duce in 2012 with­out re­quest.

When she told him it would be dif­fi­cult for her to sell it, he em­barked on a cam­paign of men­ac­ing and threat­en­ing phone calls, de­mand­ing pay­ment for the pro­duce he had sup­plied un­in­vited.

Peter­son, 60, also threat­ened to dam­age her property if his de­mands were not met. In other of­fend­ing, Peter­son told a woman, who com­plained two chick­ens she bought from him were dis­eased, that he would slit the birds' throats if she re­turned them to him.

Af­ter a visit from the stock squad, he rang and told her she may have put her life in dan­ger. Petersen also cut down two banana trees in his fe­male neigh­bour's yard with­out per­mis­sion and be­came ver­bally abu­sive when she con­fronted him.

He faced fur­ther charges against other women.

Af­ter an ap­peal last week, Judge Brian Har­ri­son cut Petersen's sen­tence to 18 months jail and re­leased him im­me­di­ately on pa­role.

He said the of­fences were se­ri­ous but Petersen ef­fec­tively had a "crush­ing" sen­tence of four years to serve at least 16 months.

Judge Har­ri­son said if all mat­ters had been dealt with to­gether, Petersen would have re­ceived a three-year sen­tence to serve one year so the change took in a to­tal­ity prin­ci­ple.

"This case high­lights why it is in­ad­vis­able to sen­tence people on a piece­meal ba­sis," he said.

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