Judge orders man to give mum a ‘cuddle’ after tomahawk threat
A PALMERSTON man who threatened a stranger with a tomahawk after he laughed at him for falling off his bike has avoided jail and been instructed to give his mum a "big cuddle".
Matthew Moore, 24, pleaded guilty in the Darwin Local Court to assault and a string of driving offences after the incident on May 11.
Prosecutor James O'Brien said Moore took a number of unprescribed Xanax tablets and got into an argument with his family before going for an unlicensed ride on a 250cc motorcycle around Palmerston.
Mr O'Brien said his "manner of driving" drew the attention of another man and Moore braked heavily, crashed into a bollard and fell off the bike before riding away again and returning armed with the tomahawk.
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Moore's lawyer, Clancy Dane, said methamphetamine was his client's "Achilles heel" and the offending was "us seeing the unravelling of him in the grips of an addiction".
Mr Dane said Moore was now off drugs after hitting rock bottom and had mended his relationship with his mum who was in court to support him.
He said a witness reported Moore crashed the bike after the other man came out onto the road and then placed the bollard between the wheels before the pair argued and Moore tried to restart the bike.
"(The witness said) 'he kept trying to kickstart it but it wouldn't start, the other blokes were laughing at him, telling him that his bike was shit and doesn't work'," he said.
"(He said) 'after a short while the guy on the bike finally manages to start his bike but as he tried to take off the bike fell over because the bollard was underneath it'."
Mr Dane said the exchange was no excuse but showed Moore "certainly wasn't met with concern for his wellbeing" before coming back armed with the tomahawk.
In handing Moore a three month suspended sentence, judge Greg Cavanagh said the tomahawk incident was "a show of violence that has to be denounced".
"It's outrageous - not to be explained away as 'Well I got laughed at, therefore I went and got a tommy axe and feel sorry for me'," he said.
"A strong message of deterrence must go out to people who want to go around the suburbs of Darwin with tomahawks and threaten people that it won't be tolerated."
Mr Cavanagh warned Moore he would "go to the big house" if he came back before the court.
"I deal with a lot of men, young men and even older men - they don't have mums and dads who care less and here's your mum down the back there," he said.
"How lucky are you to have people who still support you? You give her a big cuddle when you get out of here."
Originally published as Judge orders man to give mum a 'big cuddle' after tomahawk threat