Matthew James Carnie, 37, enters Maroochydore Court House before being sentenced for bashing a backpacker at Boreen Point.
Matthew James Carnie, 37, enters Maroochydore Court House before being sentenced for bashing a backpacker at Boreen Point. Stuart Cumming

Backpacker basher jailed for bush camp attack

BASHING a backpacker with a stick for badmouthing his business has landed a father of two in jail for the next three months.

Gagaju Bush Camp owner Matthew James Carnie, 37, had someone drive him to the Elanda Point Education Centre and Adventure Park on February 5 in search of a tourist who had earlier been at his Cooroibah business.

Carnie's solicitor Robert Butler said the 23-year-old German tourist and another man had been at Gagaju earlier in the day, handing out pamphlets to guests encouraging them to move to the rival Elanda Point camp.

Maroochydore Magistrates Court this afternoon heard Carnie had learned of this and gone with three or four other man to the camp that night to speak with the tourist.

Mr Butler said Carnie had someone drive him because he was medicated on morphine due to ongoing back pain from a serious car crash nearly 17 years ago.

He said Carnie grabbed a stick when he got to the destination because he had been told the backpacker was quite large and he didn't want to get his "arse kicked".

Police said the weapon was a baton but Magistrate Annette Hennessy accepted it was a stick.

An argument ensued when Carnie confronted the backpacker and the man was struck twice in the head with the stick.

He received two cuts which both required stitches.

Mr Butler said his client had two children aged younger than 10 and ran the bush camp with his wife.

Ms Hennessy detailed the terror the backpacker felt when she read from his victim impact statement.

"I didn't know if it was going to end or it was going to continue until I was dead," Ms Hennessy said.

Ms Hennessy did not accept police submissions that the attack was unprovoked, noting there was some background to the bashing.

She also did not accept Mr Butler's submission that the violence was not planned, noting Carnie would not have had a weapon with him if he was not expecting trouble.

Carnie was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended after three.


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