The Snake's Tale
The Townsville Bulletin's headline read: Snake Man Fined - Road Rager threatened Woman with 'death adder'.
The article went on to say that in a road rage confrontation in Townsville in October, a man brandished a snake at a terrified woman driver and her children, claiming it was a death adder and she was going to die. The Townsville Magistrates Court heard this, when a 22 year old stonemason pleaded guilty to a charge of public nuisance and a second charge of the improper transportation of wildlife.
It seems the woman was driving along Palmerston Street with her children when she saw a vehicle start to pull out from the kerb. She honked her horn to warn him and continued on her way, but the young driver took exception to the incident and followed her. He pulled up beside the woman at an intersection and called her a 'black bitch'.
The woman was upset by this confrontation, so she followed him to get his registration number, but when she stopped to write it down, he stopped a little way down the road. When he jumped out of his car and started running towards the woman, he was holding a metre-long snake in his hands, yelling: "This is a death adder and you're dead". (None of that tame old finger waving for this lad!)
The woman told police she had been terrified and her children were screaming to have the windows wound up, so she drove off immediately. When the police traced the male driver they found that he had four pythons, which he was licensed to keep He admitted to Police that he had racially abused the woman and had threatened her with the snake, which was in fact one of the pythons, telling her it was a death adder to frighten her.
Asked why he had the snake in the car, he said he often took it for a drive. (I wonder if it liked to drive around with it's head out the window so it could hiss at other snakes as it passed by?) This admission, however, brought about the second charge, because the law states that the only two reasons snakes can be transported in public is to visit the vets, or when moving house.
The Magistrate fined the young man $400 for threatening the woman and her children and a further $800 for having the snake in his vehicle. (Looks like the racial abuse that caused the incident didn't raise a fine.)