Man behind 36-hour siege 'let out of care too early'
A GLADSTONE man who forced a New Auckland street to be shut down for 36 hours during a siege, won't serve any jail time.
Matthew William Kelle, 46, pleaded guilty to five charges in Gladstone Magistrates Court last Friday, including two counts of serious assault of a police officer while pretending to be armed with a weapon.
The court heard the ordeal on October 4, 2016, started with a call from a witness stating that Kelle was threatening to burn his house down with himself inside.
Police attended the New Auckland address at 11.19pm where Kelle was on the balcony, armed with a large kitchen knife.
He was talking to someone on the phone.
Police overheard him say if police came through the gate he would burn the house down.
Kelle yelled at police, saying words to the effect "if you set foot on my property I will burn this house down with me inside it."
Kelle locked himself inside the house which was when the siege situation commenced.
Police asked Kelle to leave the house more than 20 times.
During the incident, Kelle asked to speak to a lawyer but was denied and he also asked to speak to his daughter in New South Wales but this did not eventuate.
Negotiations with police lasted 36 hours with 12 police from Gladstone and Rockhampton on scene at a time.
There were also 10 to 15 Queensland Fire and Emergency Service staff, three ambulances and four mental health coordinators, costing the public $14,000 in overtime.
On October 6, 2016 at 10.30am, Kelle exited the dwelling without incident and was escorted to an ambulance before being taken to a mental health facility in Rockhampton.
During a police interview Kelle said he wanted to "destroy the hard drive of his life" and he was struggling to cope as it had been 21 years since he saw his daughter.
While at the facility, Kelle caused damage to a wall by banging his head against it.
Days after Kelle was released, a similar situation unfolded at the New Auckland home.
On October 22, at 8.45pm, an informant called to say Kelle was "being stupid again" and had threatened to cut his head off with a knife.
Police attended the address and as they approached, Kelle yelled: "If you come through that gate I will stick this knife through my jugular".
Kelle told police if they entered he would kill himself and stated he would only speak to a female officer.
Negotiators were called in and negotiations began at 9.58pm that night.
Kelle was asked on numerous occasion to leave the house.
At 6.36am Kelle exited the dwelling and was transported to Gladstone Hospital.
Defence lawyer Robert Raiti said the matters had been delayed due to proceedings in another court.
Mr Raiti said his client had an unstable personality disorder and schizophrenia.
He said it was unfortunate Kelle had been released from the mental health facility after just 10 days where he should have been kept in for at least 28 days.
Mr Raiti said Kelle was now getting the support he needed, with two NDIS staff attending court in support of him.
Kelle was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, fully suspended for 12 months.