A drunk East Albury man with a history of making violent threats pulled a knife on a liquor shop staff member working solo on a night shift when she refused to sell him wine.
Christopher Ward Luscombe then pointed the retractable blade, in a multi-tool he got out of a shirt pocket, at his stomach.
Luscombe tried to pass-off what he did as the “silly” actions of a man who had drunk too much when he explained himself in Albury Local Court on Monday.
But magistrate Rodney Brender saw nothing trivial in what happened, given that the woman working at the BWS outlet next to the Myer Centre Woolworths supermarket was left in great fear for her safety.
“Well,” Mr Brender said, “she felt intimidated.”
Luscombe, 38, argued it was a “one-off” that happened because “alcohol has been my demon”.
His record though told a different story.
“The accused,” police said, “has quite a number of matters on his Victorian criminal history where he has been convicted of violent threats towards others.”
Luscombe pleaded guilty to charges of stalk or intimidate, custody of a knife in a public place and excluded person fail to leave premises when requested.
The victim began work on August 19 at 6pm.
Luscombe walked in about 7.40pm as she was on a ladder re-stocking shelves, telling her: “I’ve only got $11 to my name and I need a drink.”
Luscombe chose a bottle of pinot grigio, but the victim – trained in the responsible serving of alcohol – refused to sell it to him as he was clearly drunk.
He then opened the bottle and took a swig.
The victim pointed out that was prohibited in the store and repeatedly told him he could not be served, emphasising she was “serious” on that point.
“Well,” he replied, “I’m serious too.”
Luscombe then reached into a pocket and pulled out the multi-tool, opening the corkscrew and then the blade, pointing it towards the woman and then to the ceiling.
“I need a drink,” he repeated.
Luscombe, who will be sentenced on October 22, fled when the victim got the attention of a passing security guard.
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