‘I’ll f---ing chop you up’: Muscle sent to reclaim $5K debt
"I'LL F---ING chop you up into little pieces mate, no one will know where you are," Andrew Lyndon Fowler said, showing his victim a tomahawk axe and a flick knife.
Fowler had been promised $2000 if he could reclaim a $5000 debt for a third party, a debt he wasn't even sure the victim owed.
The 36 year old pleaded guilty in Gladstone District Court on Wednesday to armed robbery in company, attempted burglary in the night with violence while armed and possession of a pipe.
Crown Prosecutor Samantha O'Rourke told the court Fowler had been recruited by a third party to reclaim a debt allegedly owed by the victim.
She told the court Fowler initially made calls to the victim and said he was looking for him before showing up at his Toolooa home on March 9.
"Open the door, grab your wallet you're coming for a drive," Fowler told the victim.
"If you don't come with us we'll drag you out."
Ms O'Rourke told the court the victim complied, entering a car where a co-accused, whose matters are still before the court, allegedly drove them to a nearby IGA.
Fowler instructed the victim to hand over his wallet before Fowler removed a debit card with a pin on it and instructed his co-accused to withdraw "whatever money was in there."
The court was told $80 was withdrawn.
Ms O'Rourke said the group drove back when Fowler pulled out a flick knife and a tomahawk, pointed the knife at the victim and told him: "see this mate, I'll f---ing chop you up into little pieces mate, no one will know where you are."
When they returned, Fowler followed the victim inside and stole a TV.
Ms O'Rourke said after this event Fowler sent a voicemail to the victim saying he was due to pay up before returning to the address 10 days later on March 19 armed with the tomahawk and knife again.
"Open the f---ing door or I'll rip the c--t and cut you into little pieces," Fowler said upon failing to gain entry to the victim's home, the court was told.
"No one will find you.
"I'll do what I have to do."
Ms O'Rourke said the victim called the police and Fowler continued yelling threats before leaving.
Ms O'Rourke said police arrived and Fowler was arrested, at the time in possession of a pipe.
She said Fowler was interviewed and denied any of the offending.
"This was a particularly terrifying incident," Ms O'Rourke said, describing Fowler as a "gun for hire."
Defence Barrister Scott Moon said his client, 35 at the time, made a "very poor choice" because he had been struggling financially and was told he would receive $2000.
"It was an extremely foolish decision he made, he certainly is not a gun for hire," Mr Moon said.
"Looking back on the situation, he can't even validate if this man, the complainant, actually owed the $5000."
He said to Fowler's credit, the axe used had a cover on it.
"He thinks he was used as a pawn but equally he was a participant," Mr Moon said.
Judge Michael Burnett said this was a serious example of this style of offending.
"This sort of behaviour is simply intolerable in a civilised society," Judge Burnett said.
"We have law enforcement agencies, we have courts and we have other processes by which debts are collected."
Fowler was sentenced to four years and three months imprisonment, suspended after 13 months for five years.
He will be eligible for parole in April 2021, with 118 days declared already served.