Since the age of 14, Wayne McLennan’s pocket knife has barely left his hip, and until the age of 74 the trusty farming tool never got him into any trouble.
But because of the pocket knife, Mr McLennan was recently charged by Chinchilla police and fined for the crime of carrying a dangerous weapon in public.
Chinchilla is a rural town in Qld's Western Downs Region.
Mr McLennan, who’s known far and wide by the nickname “Cowboy”, was leaving a local pub in his ute after a few beers last month when he was pulled over by police.
He recorded a blood-alcohol reading that was marginally above the legal limit but his second breath test, back at the Chinchilla Police Station, was under the limit.
He’d therefore committed no drink driving offence, but he was charged and issued a notice to appear in court over the pocket knife, which was inside its leather pouch and attached to his waist belt.
“I was dumbfounded,” Mr McLennan said.
“I said to the copper, “you go into the supermarket or walk down the street and you’ll be booking a lot of people for carrying a pocket knife.”
“When I went to court I was waiting outside and even the prosecutor fella said 'haven’t they got anything better to do?'”.
Mr McLennan, an aged pensioner, pleaded guilty in the Chinchilla Magistrates Court and was fined $100.