Bruce Hwy rager scarred by serial killer's decaying victim
THE lawyer for a man who terrified two people in a road rage incident on the Bruce Highway has detailed his client's tragic childhood and the times he twice crossed paths with Rockhampton serial killer Leonard John Fraser.
When Cheynne Troy Svensen appeared in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to going armed to cause fear, his defence lawyer Nick Larter told the court his client suffered PTSD as a result of his traumatic upbringing and the devastating impact Fraser's offending had on the now 31-year-old.
"He was an innocent child brought up in a violent household with an abusive alcoholic mother," he said.
"One of his school friends was Keyra Steinhardt ... murdered by Leonard Fraser in horrendous circumstances."
Mr Larter said material before Magistrate Belinda Merrin also outlined in graphic detail how Svensen found the decomposing corpse of one of Fraser's other victims at an address his mother had taken him to.
"His mother had been drinking ... whilst she was inattentive to the care of her child, he'd gone to investigate a foul smell coming from a run-down block of units.
"He found the badly decomposed body of a female, and that has stayed with him to this day."
Mr Larter said for his client, who also suffered from autism, the emotional and psychological damage left him with a lifetime of nightmares and mental health issues.
The court heard on February 16 this year Svensen, who was living in Bundaberg at the time, had become particularly unwell and as a last resort, recognising he needed help, drove to his mother's home in Rockhampton.
Police prosecutor Constable Tina Bland detailed how it was during that journey that Svensen "saw red" and confronted a car he thought had been tailgating him along the Bruce Highway.
She said when both Svensen and the victims pulled up at roadworks, an agitated and angry Svenson got out of his car, armed himself with a metal bar and made threats towards a 52-year-old and 72-year-old female.
In sentencing Svensen, Ms Merrin acknowledged it would have been a terrifying ordeal for the two people who were confronted by the 31-year-old, but she accepted he was remorseful.
"You completely over reacted to what you considered to be poor driving by the complainants," she said.
"It must have been of extreme concern to them when you got out of your car armed with a metal bar and threatened to smash their car up.
"You wanted to cause them fear and that's exactly what you did do."
But Ms Merrin also acknowledged Svensen's "disadvantaged and traumatic" childhood and mitigated the punishment she handed down to a man who had "never felt the love or nurture of a parent".
Svensen was sentenced to three months jail, wholly suspended for nine months.
His driver's licence was also disqualified for two months.