'Clive's mate' threatened to cut woman's throat

FOR a bloke who purported to be Clive Palmer's mate, more powerful than the police, and a millionaire, Murray James Collins looked fairly unremarkable as he sat in Maroochydore Magistrates Court.

Solid with greying hair and glasses, and in short-sleeved chequered shirt, shorts and loafers, he looked much like any other middle-aged man on the Coast, save for the "flavour saver" beard under his bottom lip.

But his behaviour at the Waterfront Hotel on November 19 last year was quite remarkable.

The court heard yesterday that Collins, 55, of Diddillibah, let fly with four letter words and threats after he was refused service following a disturbance.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Jamie Baker said that when the manageress told Collins to go or face a fine, he said he would buy the hotel and was best friends with Clive Palmer.

The threat of a fine did not bother Collins, who said to double it because he was a multi-millionaire.

He was not worried by police, either. "I'm above them anyway, you don't know how powerful I am," he told the manageress before threatening to come back and slit her throat.

Sgt Baker said police later used the registration details of Collins' Mercedes to trace his home address, where they found him in bed.

Collins, who initially claimed he had been drinking at home, eventually recorded a blood alcohol concentration of 0.126%, and a blood test showed a collection of drugs in his system, including various benzodiazepines.

Collins' lawyer, Chelsea Emery, said her client had suffered a serious back injury at 40 and had grappled with chronic fatigue following a 'flu vaccination.

She said he could not remember speaking to the hotel staff in the manner alleged but accepted he did.

Collins, who pleaded guilty to four charges, including driving under the influence and failing to leave licensed premises, was given two $1000 fines and disqualified from driving for six months.

He was also banned from the Waterfront Hotel for six months.



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