Sacked tradie’s kill threat to former boss
A disgruntled tradie turned to sending his former boss text and Facebook messages that became increasingly threatening in nature, after he was sacked from his job.
Alcohol was pinpointed as the trigger for the messages, which an Ipswich court on Monday heard included a threat to kill.
Welder Shane Martin later claimed he had no intention of following through with his threats.
At Ipswich District Court, Shane Andrew Martin, 42, from Staplyton, pleaded guilty to unlawful stalking with violence between September 3, 2019 and October 29, 2019 at Raceview.
Crown prosecutor James Bishop said Martin threatened to use violence against his former employer.
"He was let go of that job in September 2019," Mr Bishop said.
"Following that he sent several messages."
The first messages included a warning to the man that he may have, "f**ed with the wrong person".
Then on Facebook he told his former boss: "Watch yourself c**t. Pay me the money you f***ing mutt."
In one message Martin warned he would, "watch your last breath you dumb c**t".
Mr Bishop said there had been a series of threatening messages sent along with Facebook postings where Martin advised people not to deal with the businessman.
Martin sent two voice messages when the man was actually at a police station with officers, where a threat was made to kill him.
"He (the former boss) was fearful for himself and his family," Mr Bishop said.
The offence carries a maximum jail penalty of seven years.
Defence lawyer Michael McMillan put forward a detailed report by an associate professor on Martin, which outlined his alcohol problem.
Martin had since stopped his excessive drinking, the court heard.
Mr McMillan said Martin had been angry and verbally remonstrated on the day his job was terminated.
"He made a comment about a firearm which was quite troubling," Mr McMillan said.
"It was said in a heated way; a shot from the hip in the circumstances.
"It was nothing more than an angry outburst."
Mr McMillan said Martin also sent some "fairly amicable" texts to his former boss about meeting over a beer for a chat, and messages about what he believed to be outstanding pay owed.
He said Martin acknowledged his problem with alcohol, and said he was also struggling with a relationship break-up and financial difficulties.
Judge Dennis Lynch QC said the messages made it plain he had been waiting on holiday pay but the messages descended into threats of violence, and threats to kill.
It reached the stage where his former employer began considering whether to change his house and car, Judge Lynch said.
"You understand your problem. You have got to deal with it," Judge Lynch said.
"I have no reason to think that if you keep off the bottle you won't be back here."
He convicted and sentenced Martin to a 12-month jail term.
Granted immediate parole, the sentence will hang over his head.
Martin was prohibited from having any contact with his former boss for five years.