'Old mate was there with a bloody axe'
A SARINA man claimed he only armed himself with an axe for protection after watching a "vicious" dog attack the family pet.
But Mackay Magistrates Court heard the 47 year old grabbed the axe from his yard, went directly to home of Brett Webster and Tara Malone and threatened to kill their dog Bus.
Mr Webster said not long after a heated argument with the Gregory Gustavus Gutschlag about 7pm on December 4 last year he looked out his caravan and "old mate was there with a bloody axe".
"He said I'm here to kill your f***ing dog," Mr Webster told the court.
Gutschlag argued he had lawful occasion to carry the axe but Magistrate Mark Nolan found the 47 year old guilty of going armed to cause fear.
Gutschlag told the court a dog came bursting out of a dwelling right next to the train lines, lunging at him and his dog, while he was walking to his mother-in-law's home opposite the Tropicana Caravan Park.
He said the dog somehow broke free of his collar and attacked his own smaller dog three times, chasing it and him up nearby train lines.
At this point Gutschlag noticed another man, Mr Webster, running after the dogs and the pair became involved in a heated debate over the incident.
Mr Webster said Gutschlag accused Bus of attacking his dog, threatened to kill his dog and grabbed him by the shirt.
Mr Webster told the court he walked back to his caravan, secured Bus and was watching television when he heard Ms Malone saying "go away"; he went outside and found Gutschlag standing there with an axe.
"That was a grave error on your part," Mr Nolan said as he sentenced Gutschlag.
The court heard Gutschlag had the axe on his shoulder, then by his right leg before putting it on the ground when a verbal argument looked like it would turn physical. He also told the couple their dog was dangerous.
Ms Malone was standing between the two and said she was "scared to death".
"It would have been terrifying for anyone," Mr Nolan said.
Gutschlag denied going there and threatening to kill the couple's dog.
During the argument, Gutschlag says, he told Mr Webster that his children walk that route. Gutschlag alleges Mr Webster said "I'll let (the dogs) off next time your kids walk up".
Mr Webster denied this.
Gutschlag said he put his dog back in his yard and grabbed the axe for protection only against another possible dog attack.
Mr Nolan said Gutschlag's decision to pick up the axe was "foolish".
The court heard the father of two and business owner had no criminal history.
He was fined $600 and a conviction was not recorded.