Goornong machete threat man walks free

A Goornong man who threatened a police officer with a wooden samurai sword and a machete has escaped further jail time after making a tearful plea to a magistrate.

Shannon Hopwood, 32, was convicted and placed on a six-month community corrections order (CCO) in the Bendigo Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Police went to Hopwood’s home on November 29 to talk to him about breaches of an intervention order.

He met one officer at the gate with several weapons and had to be contained with the help of OC spray.

Hopwood’s lawyer Peter Baker downplayed the incident.

“He had a bow and no arrows, a wooden sword and a machete he was directed to carry around by his employer because of snakes,” Mr Baker said.

“The police officer’s statement shows it was almost a comical series of events.”

Mr Baker said a CCO would help deal with his client’s alcohol problems, which he said were at the root of his offending. 

A corrections officer told the court Hopwood had been deemed unsuitable for a CCO because he had failed to comply with one in the past.

But Magistrate Greg McNamara asked Hopwood, seated in the dock, to convince him he would comply this time.

“I don’t want to go back to jail,” a tearful Hopwood said. 

He said he just wanted to see his family and get on with his life. Mr McNamara warned Hopwood that any more offending would send him to jail.

“Police shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of behaviour,” he said.

Mr McNamara ordered Hopwood to complete 75 hours of unpaid community work. He also sentenced him to 14 days’ jail, reckoned as time served.

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