RENTAL RAGE: Drunk landlord threatens tenants with knife

A DRUNK landlord took the law into his own hands after his tenants failed to pay rent and trashed his property.

The grandfather confronted the pair at a house in Walker St, Maryborough, in November last year and threatened them with a knife.

Witnesses told police they heard yelling and after investigating, saw Barry Kirk Ashwell acting "extremely aggressive" towards a man and a woman.

Maryborough Magistrates Court on Monday heard Ashwell was drunk when he drove his car to confront the duo.

Police prosecutor Kathryn Stagoll said the pair, who had previously been living in Ashwell's caravan, had not paid rent and left drug paraphernalia throughout the property.

Sgt Stagoll said Ashwell admitted to going to the tenants' new house and threatening them with a knife.

She said a witness recorded Ashwell's number plate which they gave to police.

"It appears about 5.39pm police received multiple calls about a male armed with a knife," Sgt Stagoll said.

"Police spoke to a witness, she said she had observed a male with a knife threatening the occupants and then drove off."

A second witness told police they heard Ashwell say "I want my f**king money" and the male tenant say "he's got a knife".

Sgt Stagoll said despite the 61-year-old having no criminal history, his charges were "extremely serious".

"With a reading such as 0.203 it was serious enough in itself - the danger he could have caused or put other road users in danger," she said.

"That coupled with the fact he has gone around to another residence and caused the fear that he has, armed with a knife, Your Honour it certainly does not take place at the lower end of the scale by any means."

Defence lawyer Natasha Schumacher said her client regretted his actions.

Ms Schumacher said Ashwell initially contacted police about monies owed but he was told it was a civil matter.

She said Ashwell came to Australia from New Zealand in 2014 with the view of travelling Australia in the caravan.

"Unfortunately things didn't unfold that way," she said.

"He and his partner had rented their caravan to the two individuals that resided at that address.

"There were some property items that had gone missing and the caravan was left in a terrible state."

Magistrate Terry Durouxcriticised the grandfather for his actions while drunk.

"In relation to the drink driving matter sir, that concerns me quite significantly," Mr Duroux said.

"You got full of grog and you lost it. I get it, I understand.

"You never take the law into your own hands and you never do silly things when you're full of grog."

Ashwell escaped a conviction for going armed to cause fear but was hit with a $500 fine.

He was convicted and fined $2000 for drink driving and disqualified from driving for seven months.



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