Thomas George Brennan.
Thomas George Brennan.

Grey nomad wanted to die: police

THERE was no sign of the fury which engulfed a 51-year-old grey nomad as he was sentenced to serve more jail time after he punched a man during a road rage incident, rammed a police car, smashed two windscreens and injured a police officer.

Thomas George Brennan sat red-faced and sobbed in the Warwick Magistrates Court dock yesterday as Warwick Police prosecutor Steve de Lissa told the court how the pensioner “taunted” police in the hope officers would shoot and kill him.

Brennan pleaded guilty to eight charges including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, assault occasioning bodily harm, two counts of wilful damage of two police cars, serious assault of a police officer, failing to stop and obstructing police which resulted from a sequence of events at Hendon on February 6.

The court heard Brennan’s bad day began after he clashed with the owner of a Warwick caravan park over a broken water pipe.

“There was an argument and the complainant has followed him in the car to make sure he’s left the property... (Brennan has) blocked the car in (got out) and punched him several times in the head while seated in the driver’s seat,” the prosecutor said.

“The defendant has snapped the key off in the ignition and kicked the door.”

A couple of hours later Warwick officers in an unmarked police car spotted a ute towing a caravan on Goomburra Street which matched the description of the road rage incident and attempted to pull over Brennan.

“He has swerved side to side to prevent police from driving alongside,” Snr Const de Lissa said.

“He’s stopped – with police about 15 metres behind – and reversed into police pushing (the police car) back causing extensive engine and panel damage.”

The court heard the former Toowoomba resident then proceeded to throw objects at the police vehicle while yelling abuse in a “stand-off situation taunting police”.

“Metal pegs were thrown at the car... the officers called for back-up,” Snr Const de Lissa said.

“Another police car has driven up and he’s thrown tent pegs about 300 to 400mm long – heavy pegs – weighing about half a kilogram each.

“One has narrowly missed an officer’s head... smashed the two car’s windscreens showering the officers with glass.”

Police were forced to use capsicum spray and “extreme force” was used to tackle Brennan to the ground.

The court also heard Brennan was wearing sunglasses to shield his eyes from the capsicum spray and had a foil car windscreen sun-visor under his shirt to deflect Tasers if they were deployed by the officers.

“He’s later admitted to police he wanted to be shot and killed by police as he was losing control of his life and had depression,” Snr Const de Lissa said.

Brennan’s defence counsel said the pensioner had already served 152 days in pre-sentence custody and was no longer “in the same frame of mind”.

When faced with the father of four’s criminal wrap sheet, Magistrate Anne Thacker said she had little alternative but to send him to prison.

“Your criminal history is a concern as there’s a history of a person who can’t control anger,” Magistrate Thacker said.

“I must send a very serious message... police officers doing their job are not to be the subject of violence and are not to be pushed.”

Police sought almost $8000 worth of restitution for damages but Brennan was only ordered to pay $662.79 to the 32-year-old who was assaulted and received car damage during the original road rage incident.

While penned as a grey nomad, Brennan will not be behind the wheel for some time as he was disqualified from driving for six months. He has a parole eligibility date of October 8.

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