‘Viking’ sentenced for scaring beach-goers
A SELF-proclaimed Danish "Viking" who got drunk on the beach with a group of young people before threatening them with a knife has been released from jail.
Jan Skovgaard, 53, was two months into a year-long Australian holiday when he met the group at Kewarra Beach on August 10, shook their hands and told them he was a Viking.
The Cairns Magistrates Court heard he drank with them and became intoxicated, before trying to take one of the group's bags, accusing them of stealing his cigarettes and threatening them with a knife which he held "backhand style".
The court was also told after being arrested by police he reached from the back cabin of their car and pulled one of the officer's seatbelts tight across him.
He pleaded guilty today to going armed to cause fear and serious assault of a police officer.
Skovgaard authors a Facebook page called "the Viking is Biking the Earth" which has documented his world travels over the past five years.
"The Viking has sold his s--- and invading the World, with NO money," the page says.
"Warzones I will fly over, oceans I will try to sail."
It also requests sponsors for his trips which have included North and South America, parts of Europe and Thailand.
The court was told he had flown from Sydney to Brisbane where he bought a car and drove it to Cairns with plans to sleep in it and sightsee.
But those plans were cut short after he was remanded in custody and Magistrate Joe Pinder said it was likely his Australian travels may be over and he would be contacted by immigration after his release.
"I don't think you will be concluding your holiday in Australia anytime soon," he said.
Defence solicitor Carly Forsyth said her client, a father of four, wanted to issue an apology to his victims.
"He has four children and was surprised by his conduct towards young people," she said.
"He has great respect for people in authority usually, he worked in the military and has friends who are police officers.
"He feels sorry for the young people for frightening them.
The court heard he had served 86 days behind bars prior to sentencing and would be released immediately.