A VIOLENT prison inmate who threatened to kill a young policeman and his ``missus'' when released was sentenced yesterday.
Marcus Denis Mayne, 25, who had pleaded not guilty in the Launceston Magistrates Court, was found guilty of three counts of threatening police.
Three Launceston constables gave evidence that Mayne threatened to harm them while they were supervising him in the Supreme Court last October.
He had been in court then for robbing the Commonwealth Bank in Launceston, which eventually landed him a 3 1/2-year jail sentence.
Apparently agitated at being handcuffed in front of his family, he abused and threatened the officers and court staff and told constable Angus Dobner in the holding cell: ``I'm going to break your jaw and headbutt you c--- and when I get out of here I'm going to put a bullet in your head and a bullet in your missus''.
``I'll kill you, you c---, you f---ing dog.''
Yesterday Mayne admitted being upset but denied the threats.
``I asked to take my handcuffs off because I was going to court. They laughed at me . . . I was a bit upset. I didn't say anything, just pulled a couple of faces to them,'' he told police prosecutor Melinda Horan.
Magistrate Robert Pearce said Mayne's account was not believable given the evidence of the three constables. He convicted Mayne on all three counts, but said the threat to Constable Dobner was in a different category.
``This threat contained elements which are particularly chilling, the threat to put a bullet in his head and a threat to put a bullet in his missus,'' Mr Pearce said.
``Threats of that nature even for experienced police officers cannot help but be concerning despite how often they have to put up with disgusting abuse of that nature.''
Mr Pearce said a jail term was appropriate, but to deter him from offending once released he suspended the three-month sentence for a year. Last year he added four months to Mayne's sentence for the bank robbery after he tried to escape from the Launceston Remand Centre.