Dad breaks out poison in Gladstone's own War of the Roses
A THORNY break-up in which an emotional and stressed-out father was unable to see his child caused him to resort to the deadly action of poisoning his ex-wife's roses.
Weed killer was the weapon.
The man, aged in his 40s, appeared before Gladstone Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to unlawful stalking, and contravening a Domestic Violence Order after sending the woman dozens of text messages.
Magistrate Jeffrey Clarke told the father that this was not the right way to go about the issue if he was having difficulty in getting contact time with his child.
Mr Clarke said he must get legal assistance to have formal arrangements put in place to see his child.
"It is the right of every parent and every child to have appropriate contact and a relationship," he said.
Prosecutor Sgt Pepe Gangemi said the man, just hours after going before the court in March when the DVO was put in place, had again sent his ex-wife messages on Facebook.
Sgt Gangemi said the man sent 19 messages in March including voice and texts, some referred to the roses in her garden including one that stated: "Your roses are going to die. Your car is next".
He said many of the messages had been in a similar ilk, and the man also said he would let her dogs off their chains.
"He goes on a bit about her roses. When she watered them she noticed bubbles rise up around their base and some of the roses died," Sgt Gangemi said.
"There was no personal threat. He says he did not intend to kill her roses and just put glyphosate down around the base but thought it had to be sprayed on the leaves to kill it."
Defence lawyer Jun Pepito said the man acted that way out of frustration because he was being denied access to his child.
He said the man was also emotional after learning his father had cancer.
Mr Pepito sought a term of supervised probation saying this would likely help his client.
Mr Clarke agreed such supervision by Corrective Services officers would assist the man because the issue of his access may become more unpleasant and stressful along the way, and it would be helpful to have someone that he could turn to.
"Your offending does seem totally out of character for you. You have never been in trouble," he said.
"Obviously you have gone through significant emotional adjustment, and significant stresses placed on you by being denied access to your child".
He placed the father on a nine-month supervised probation order.