A man has recounted the terrifying moment he was picked up and repeatedly stabbed in remote bushland by a mattock-wielding drug abuser ranting about aliens.
A man has recounted the terrifying moment he was picked up and repeatedly stabbed in remote bushland by a mattock-wielding drug abuser ranting about aliens.

‘40 cones’ before brutal ‘throat and scrote’ assault

A TABLELANDS man and chronic cannabis user, who claimed to smoke 30-40 cones per day, was "of unsound mind" when he launched a "surprise attack" on his neighbour with a mattock and knife in remote bushland.

Michael John Osborne, 53, pleaded not guilty to grievous bodily harm over the September 2016 attack which took place on a cattle station outside Ravenshoe while the pair were on route to visit a waterfall.

During a two-day judge only trial the Cairns District Court heard he hit the victim's back with the flat part of a mattock and stabbed him about seven times with a pocketknife before leaving him bleeding in the bush.

While the court heard evidence from a psychiatrist who Osborne told of his heavy cannabis use in the month leading up to the attack, Judge Dean Morzone ruled he had not been intoxicated that day and the attack was the result of paranoid schizophrenia.

The victim, who was not named in the published decision, gave a colourful account of the unprovoked assault, saying Osborne picked him by the "throat and scrote", spoke of "alien spaceships" and told he was "healed" after stabbing him

A man was randomly attacked by his neighbour in bushland outside Ravenshoe on the Tablelands. Picture: Ros Walker
A man was randomly attacked by his neighbour in bushland outside Ravenshoe on the Tablelands. Picture: Ros Walker

"I was trying to fight back but he was just all over the top of me," he said.

"You know, I'm 20 kilo lighter than I've been most of my life and - yeah, and then he, yeah, donged me across the back with the mattock, picked me up by the throat and the scrote, bowled me into the ground and knee-dropped me.

"Then he was shoving his hand in my mouth, which was all muddy and everything, and he - screaming out, "Bite my fingers off and Ruby will be healed". Well, I had no idea who Ruby was, but whatever."

He told the court he had initially become concerned about Osborne when the pair stopped on the journey and Osborne accused him of using rope to tie him up and pull his teeth out.

"And that's where I figured, "I'd better get out of here, this guy's crackers"," he said.

It was as he attempted to leave when the court heard Osborne attacked him.

The court heard after leaving him seriously injured with a punctured lung Osborne road his motorbike to the nearby station homestead, telling the resident he had "stabbed someone" and to call triple-0.

Judge Morzone ordered Osborne be admitted into Cairns and Hinterland Mental Health Service, finding him not guilty of the assault on account of unsoundness of mind.

Originally published as '40 cones' before brutal 'throat and scrote' assault



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