Armed man was on way to ex-partner's

By melissa.nightingale@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

A man found heading towards his ex-partner's house with a weapon told police he wanted to see if any other men had been visiting her.

Michael Alexander O'Leary drove to Gilberd St about 1am on February 24 and hid his vehicle between some nearby bushes, police prosecutor Sergeant Stephen Butler said.

O'Leary was walking towards his ex-partner's house when he was stopped by passing police, who were investigating a suspicious fire in the area.

He told police he had walked from Whanganui East, Mr Butler told the Whanganui District Court on Tuesday.

However, O'Leary's vehicle was discovered a short time later, and it was found he was also carrying a cut-down wooden axe handle, which he initially told police he was carrying for protection.

He later admitted he wanted to go to his ex-partner's house "to see if any other guys had been visiting her", Mr Butler said.

He pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon.

Defence lawyer Anna Brosnahan said it was O'Leary's first offence for possessing an offensive weapon.

"There's been a recent breakdown in a relationship, everything seems to be in control at this stage, sir, and they are going about things in the correct way now.

"I don't know what he was going to do when he got there, sir. I don't know how that was going to assist him at all and neither does he."

Ms Brosnahan suggested an order to come up for sentence if called upon, so it would "hang over his head" as the relationship was "sorting itself out".

Judge Dugald Matheson ordered O'Leary to come up for sentence if called upon within nine months and also ordered the destruction of the axe handle.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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