Grant Young says he would rather go to prison than pay his $1500 fine after he pleaded guilty to making harassing phone calls to Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders.
Grant Young says he would rather go to prison than pay his $1500 fine after he pleaded guilty to making harassing phone calls to Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders. Carlie Walker

MP THREATS: 'I'll go to jail for my principles'

GRANT Young says he would rather go to jail than pay the $1500 fine he received for drunken calls made to Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders.

The 60-year-old pleaded guilty in Maryborough Magistrates Court this week to using a carriage service to menace or harass.

On Wednesday he told the Chronicle he was a "political prisoner" and would rather serve two months in prison than pay $1500 to a "corrupt government".

"I would rather do incarceration for the principle," he said.

He said his phone calls to Mr Saunders' office on November 28 began innocently enough - with him wanting to congratulate Mr Saunders for holding on to his seat.

According to the court, however, the calls became threatening, with Mr Young telling the MP to "watch out".

In another message, Mr Young told Mr Saunders "when you walk on the phone across the road, make sure you don't get run over".

But Mr Young, who says he served his country in the RAAF, insisted the message was not intended to be threatening, explaining he had seen Mr Saunders crossing the road, phone in hand, and was "worried" for his well-being.

"I am not threatening anyone," he said.

"I believe in freedom of speech."

Mr Young has 28 days to pay the fine or arrange a payment plan , but says he would rather go to jail.

He says he's not afraid of serving time.

Mr Saunders said the court had made its decision and if Mr Young was prepared to go to jail, that was his choice.
 


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