Babinda Police Station. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
Babinda Police Station. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN

Chef sentenced for police knife attack

A FAR Northern police officer had to hold the door of his station closed with his shoulder while a man repeatedly thrust a large kitchen knife into the door and repeatedly shouted "I'm going to kill you" in a terrifying attack last year.

The 36-year-old male constable was the only officer in Babinda station on April 5, 2019 when local man Thomas Newman, 20, armed himself and walked 340m through town holding the 30cm knife to get there.

The Cairns Supreme Court heard the officer managed to get inside the station after Newman ran at him on the balcony, pressing the door closed.

Crown prosecutor Nathan Crane read from the officer's statement where he said the struggle lasted for up to two minutes.

"I remember thinking s*** that was close because I could see about four or five inches of the blade," Mr Crane read from the statement.

"(He said) drop the knife Thomas, drop the knife and I can help you."

Mr Crane said Newman complied, but then began to struggle again when the officer tried to restrain him on the balcony before a second police officer arrived to assist.

The court heard Newman, a part-time cook at a local pub, had struggled with mental health problems for several years, had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but used cannabis and methylamphetamines.

Prior to the attack he told police he had been at a nearby residence where the occupants had told him they did not wish to be friends with him.

The court heard he told officers: "I had a fight with the boys on Jago St. I hate the world, I want to kill somebody".

The Supreme Court was told he had no criminal history, except two weeks earlier after he was spoken to by the same officer he attacked for breaking the window of a local veterinary clinic.

Newman, who yesterday pleaded guilty to serious assault police while armed, going armed to cause fear, wilful damage and obstruct police, has been in custody since the attack occurred.

Justice Jim Henry handed him a three-year jail sentence with immediate parole and said he should "never engage in the use of unprescribed drugs".

"The consequences of you doing so are now plain to see," he said.

Originally published as Chef sentenced for police knife attack


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