‘Do I set the place on fire or get a gun and shoot?’
A ROCKHAMPTON man was so fed up with being woken by early morning noise from a nearby gym that he called Triple Zero.
The operator advised Alma Street resident Michael John Ross when he phoned at 6.59am on September 4 that it was a council matter.
The 37-year-old then became verbally abusive, would not listen to advice, and started talking over the top of the operator before hanging up.
At 7.06am he called Triple Zero again. He said to the operator: "What am I going to do? Do I set the place on fire or do I get a gun and shoot?"
Ross was advised that the call was being recorded but he again spoke over the top of the operator saying: "You don't have the balls to f..king do your job anyway."
At 8.15am police located Ross who admitted to making the phone calls and he said that he expected police to do something about it.
Police noticed Ross was agitated and they believed he was affected by an intoxicating substance.
They tried to arrest him but he resisted and was taken to the ground.
Ross pleaded guilty in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Friday to making vexatious Triple Zero calls and obstructing police.
Ross's solicitor said Ross understood his behaviour was inappropriate and had crossed the line. To this point, the court had not heard where it was that Ross lived and Magistrate Philippa Beckinsale asked Ross's solicitor for more details about the source of the noise.
That was when Ross decided to speak for himself.
"I live in Alma Street, your honour, and the gym is right across the road from me on the corner," he said.
"It echoes right through the whole unit.
"And at 5, 5.30 in the morning, this girl she yells and screams like a banshee.
"And the music's blasting."
Ross said he'd previously tried speaking to employees at the gym and said he'd also contacted the council about his grievances to no avail.
Ms Beckinsale told Ross that Triple Zero was for emergencies only and the court heard that the offence of making vexatious calls to the number carried a maximum penalty of three years' jail.
Ross's solicitor said the fire and gun threats Ross made should be viewed as "hypothetical" and Ross had been given the Policelink number should he have noise problems in the future.
Ms Beckinsale noted that Ross was distressed and advised him to see the Dispute Resolution Centre in the court building.
"This is a service that's free and it's there to try and stop things like this escalating," she said.
"This is a neighbour dispute essentially and it's worth asking the question (at the centre) on the way out."
Ross was placed on a six-month good behaviour bond with $300 recognizance and for obstructing police he was fined $500.