Man ‘lucky’ to be alive after swinging sword at police

A YOUNG MAN is "lucky" he wasn't shot and killed after he ran towards police waving a samurai sword in the air.

Alwyn Steven Grannigan, 18, pleaded guilty to four charges including offences of trespass and going armed to cause fear when he faced Townsville Magistrates Court via video-link yesterday.

Police prosecutor Anita Page told the court on September 15 this year at 10pm, Grannigan was chased down Lindeman Ave in Heatley after he entered the yard of a home.

The owner of the home, with his young family still inside, chased the ice-fuelled Grannigan, who was wielding a samurai sword, off his property and towards Fulham Rd.

Police who were patrolling the area noticed the pursuit and tried to arrest the man, commanding the 18-year-old several times drop his weapon.

The court heard a police officer had to withdraw his gun as Grannigan ran towards him swinging the sword from side to side.

He fled from police to a nearby park before he was arrested.

Ms Page said people had the right to feel safe in their own homes.

"This type of conduct has been increasing in the Townsville community causing fear and anger," she said.

Defence lawyer Zoe Navarro said her client had come from an "extremely disadvantaged upbringing", with a father who had spent much of his adult life in jail, and a history of drug abuse since he was eight years old.

"His education has not been consistent and he has been exposed to drug use throughout his life," she said.

She said Grannigan was "intellectually disabled" and was assessed as having an IQ of 50, citing the difficulty in learning life skills and obtaining employment because of his circumstances.

Ms Navarro said Grannigan could benefit from educational and rehabilitative programs that would give him a chance at life.

"It's not completely hopeless," she said.

Magistrate Steven Mosch said he took into account the man's early guilty plea and described his conduct as something out of a movie.

"You're lucky you're not shot," Mr Mosch said.

"It's completely unacceptable to enter someone's yard in the night time with a samurai sword."

Grannigan was sentenced to a 12-month probation order.

No conviction was recorded against him.



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