A man who produced a knife and threatened to kill a man in front of his wife and young children after being told not to litter has been sentenced to a short term of imprisonment.
Jamie Nugent, 50, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court this month to six offences arising from the incident at Lake Neangar in Eaglehawk earlier this year.
On the afternoon of June 29, a couple and their two young children were walking at the lake when they saw Nugent throw a beer can into the water.
The man said to Nugent there was a bin nearby and the can should have gone into that instead.
Nugent stood up and approached the family, saying “Do you want a f**king go?”
He produced a 22-centimetre pocket knife, threatened to kill the man, and continued to approach him.
After being informed police had been called, Nugent went back to his fishing equipment.
Police arrived a short time later and on their request Nugent took the knife from his pocket and threw it to the ground, but refused to give his name and address, and was seen to be heavily intoxicated.
His defence lawyer Markorius Habib told the court Nugent had this year, after a period of homelessness and unemployment, secured a job with his son and a home through Haven; Home, Safe.
Mr Habib said his client would lose that housing if sentenced to a prison term of greater than 90 days.
Nugent had an issue with alcohol abuse, but was aware of its impact on him, Mr Habib said, and did not want to put the family through a trial.
Magistrate Gregory McNamara sentenced Nugent to 60 days’ imprisonment and placed him on a 12-month community corrections order.
Nugent must also do 50 hours of community work, and undergo assessment and treatment for both drug and alcohol abuse and his mental health.
Magistrate Gregory McNamara took into account Nugent’s guilty plea and his circumstances.
He said he understood Nugent was affected by alcohol at the time, but that did not excuse his serious offending, which would have been “very frightening and stressful” for the victims.
“That young family… shouldn’t have had to put up with someone acting the way you did,” Mr McNamara said.
Mr McNamara said he also took into account Nugent’s capacity to work, his insight into his offending, and that he had the support of his sons.