Mob law expedition's 'shocking secret'
WORSE than taking a knife to a gunfight was one Gympie man's decision to take a "taser" to a fight with the law.
Nathan Kent Woodruff pleaded guilty in Gympie Magistrates Court to a Weapons Act charge which followed almost inevitably from his decision to accompany a vigilante group to the home of a man believed to have stolen a generator from one of them.
Woodruff, 36 of Neerdie, agreed with magistrate Chris Callaghan that he had decided to accompany the group and had taken the weapon along "in case it was needed."
Woodruff pleaded guilty to possessing at Monkland on November 11 an "electric anti-personnel device."
The court was told police at 2.30am found a group at the front of a residence, trying to get a person to come out.
That person had called the police, the court was told.
Woodruff told officers the weapon was only a torch, which is what it looked like.
He showed police how it could be used as a torch, but further manipulation showed its other use, as an electric shock weapon.
The court was told the group had gone to a house to recover a generator they thought was stolen.
Police told the court those involved should have passed on to police the information they received, instead of trying to sort it out themselves.
Woodruff's legal representative said Woodruff had taken the weapon with him because "he did not know how he would be greeted."
It had been originally purchased for his mother in law who had been a victim of significant domestic violence, he said.
"You went to a person's house with two other men to recover a generator," Mr Callaghan observed.
"You were taking the law into your own hands and you can't do that," he said.
"You should have called the police and had the property returned in an orderly manner.
"You carried an anti-personnel device and were prepared to use it if necessary.
"You took it in case it was needed," Mr Callaghan said. And Woodruff agreed.
"It wasn't necessary thankfully and you didn't use it," Mr Callaghan noted.
It was a serious matter to go around to someone's place "weaponed up," he said, fining Woodruff $400.