G20 Facebook threat blows up a $750 fine

MANY might think it is fine to make bad jokes on Facebook, but it cost one 21-year-old Rockhampton man a $750 fine.

Jacob Deane Nicholas attracted international attention when he made an alleged bomb threat against the US President Barack Obama's vehicle at the G20 Summit in Brisbane last year.

He was tracked down and arrested in his Parkhurst home last November and initially charged using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence.

He faced Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to a downgraded charge of public nuisance.

Defence lawyer Doug Winning said Nicolas had put a Facebook post on the Channel 9 site about placing a bomb, two days ahead of the G20, a sensitive security period, but it was a way of attracting attention rather than an intent.

"Once investigated he was not regarded as a security risk," Mr Winning said.

"It was quickly identified as a matter lacking serious substance."

Following his arrest, Nicholas provided The Morning Bulletin with an apology which Magistrate Michael O'Driscoll made reference to in summing up the sentencing.

The apology went on to say he had made an ill-considered comment online that was meant as a light-hearted joke.

Mr O'Driscoll said it was naivety and stupidity, a misguided joke.

"All threats are taken seriously by authorities," Mr O'Driscoll said.

A conviction was recorded.



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