Thomas Thorpe outside court.
Thomas Thorpe outside court. Ross Irby

Sleep-deprived pensioner confronts hoons with hammer, rock

LEFT sleep-deprived from late-night drivers lapping his Ipswich street, a stroppy Thomas Thorpe leapt out onto the street wielding a hammer.

It was 11.30pm when he confronted one male driver who'd just left a nearby pizza shop - the driver quickly throwing his vehicle into reverse and backing down the street.

The frightened driver called 000, saying a man armed with what looked to be a machete was out on Thorn St.

Thorpe, a disability pensioner since a train accident, was found by police before midnight and charged.

Thomas Clarence Thorpe, 43, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to going armed to cause fear at 11.30pm on Friday, April 27.

Prosecutor, Sergeant Paul Caldwell said police were called to Thorn St near the Limestone St intersection about a man with an axe.

A witness approached police saying he'd called them and had seen a man walk toward a nearby block of units.

Police found Thorpe seated on outside steps at a unit.

"He says he had been living on Thorn St nearly all his life and was sick of all the lappers, revving their engines up and down the street," Sgt Caldwell said.

"(He said) that police had not acted so he went out with a hammer and a rock.

"When he saw a vehicle come around the corner he walked to the vehicle."

Sgt Caldwell said Thorpe had thrown the hammer into a nearby yard. There was no axe.

Sgt Caldwell said the witness told police he had driven out of Domino's Pizza and saw a man standing in the middle of the road "walking slowly with an axe, he reverses back".

The man tried to drive around but thought Thorpe was going to attack him so reversed his car.

Sgt Caldwell again clarified to Magistrate Andy Cridland that the weapon was found to be a hammer, not an axe.

Defence lawyer Trevor Hoskin said it was an unusual set of circumstances with Thorpe having lived 14 years on Thorn St. The street is a route "commonly used by lappers".

"He says he is okay with the traffic noise to 10pm but after that he can't get to sleep," Mr Hoskin said.

"He says he's been to police to lodge noise complaints.

"I've been told for many years about people doing laps. He did what he did."

Mr Cridland said Thorpe had armed himself with the intention to smash a windscreen but did not chase the vehicle. He instead walked away and threw the hammer away.

Mr Cridland told Thorpe that if he had struck the windscreen and the matter had gone further he would likely be facing a far more serious charge.

Thorpe was convicted and fined $750.