Drunk pest blocks firies from backyard bonfire

A NAME from the past drove Rockhampton's Daley Peter Stritzke to drink heavily. He then tried to stop firefighters from dousing an out-of-control backyard blaze.

The backyard bonfire, on January 26 at a Campbell St property, became so intense it set alight a trampoline in a neighbouring yard.

Stritzke, 25, pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Monday to one charge of abusing and threatening a person and one count of obstructing a police officer.

Police Prosecutor Senior Constable Darryl Cox said on January 26 Stritzke attended the party where a mattress was used to fuel the fire.

Firefighters were called to the house, where a number of people were gathered.

The court heard when firefighters tried to put out the fire, a heavily intoxicated Stritzke intervened.

Snr Const Cox said he kept getting in their way and taking photos.

Firefighters were forced to call in police officers. By the time police arrived, Stritzke had left the address.

When Stritzke returned later in the night, fire officers pointed him out to police and he was arrested. His defence solicitor Joanne Madden said Stritzke drove himself to drink heavily after he saw a Morning Bulletin article about a person he knew when he was younger.

The court heard that person had physically assaulted him in the past.

Magistrate Barry Cosgrove said Stritzke's drunken behaviour was no excuse for his actions.

Mr Cosgrove sentenced Stritzke to three months in prison, for an operational period of 12 months. He was immediately released on parole.



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