Hunt­ing knife found at hos­tel

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

A MAN who was found at an Air­lie Beach hos­tel with a 30cm hunt­ing knife has been fined $800.

Callum James Ruther­ford ap­peared in the Proser­pine Mag­is­trate’s Court on Mon­day charged with pos­sess­ing a knife in a pub­lic place, ob­struct­ing po­lice and wil­fully dam­ag­ing po­lice prop­erty.

At 11.15pm on Septem­ber 25, po­lice were called to Mag­nums Ho­tel where Ruther­ford had been evicted from the li­censed premises and had re­turned to his room.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor El­iz­a­beth Smith said the three other tourists shar­ing the room re­ported that Ruther­ford was ag­gres­sive and had a knife.

Po­lice sub­se­quently found Ruther­ford asleep in a bunk at the hos­tel with the hunt­ing knife in his back­pack. He re­port­edly said he had been re­cently “bashed” and bought the knife for pro­tec­tion.

Ms Smith said Ruther­ford be­came ag­gres­sive with po­lice and had to be phys­i­cally res- trained.

She said he kicked the sides of the po­lice ve­hi­cle and on ar­rival to the watch house was im­me­di­ately placed in a vi­o­lent de­ten­tion cell.

Ms Smith also said Ruther­ford spat on the walls of the cell re­quir­ing spe­cial­ist clean­ing and san­i­ta­tion at a cost of $100.

Duty lawyer Lach­lan Ygoa-McKe­own said the 30-year-old didn’t re­call mak­ing threats to his room-mates but didn’t deny hav­ing the knife in a pub­lic place.

He also sub­mit­ted that Ruther­ford pre­sented in “a very in­tense way”, which, com­bined with his level of in­tox­i­ca­tion from al­co­hol, led to some “mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion” on that night.

Mr Ygoa-McKe­own ex­plained the spit­ting by say­ing that Ruther­ford had a con­di­tion which caused a build-up of phlegm. He said that with­out hav­ing a toi­let in his cell, Ruther­ford found it nec­es­sary to spit on the wall. In ad­di­tion to the $800 fine, mag­is­trate Haydn St­jern­qvist or­dered Ruther­ford to pay $100 in resti­tu­tion costs.

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