Police bomb squad vehicle arriving in Surfers Paradise.
Police bomb squad vehicle arriving in Surfers Paradise.

Bomb hoax accused a ‘gentle giant’

NEIGHBOURS of the alleged Surfers Paradise bomb hoaxer have described a "gentle giant" who gave chocolates as gifts to show his appreciation for small gestures.

Residents from the apartment building where he lived told the Gold Coast Bulletin they were shocked when they found out he was involved in the bomb scare which locked down Brisbane Airport, along with a chunk of Surfers Paradise on Saturday night.

The 50-year-old was a "quiet, polite man" that lived alone and kept to himself, they said.

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Surfers Plaza Resort, the home of the alleged Surfers Paradise bomb hoaxer, directly opposite the Bruce Bishop car park — the centre of police activity on the Coast on Saturday.
Surfers Plaza Resort, the home of the alleged Surfers Paradise bomb hoaxer, directly opposite the Bruce Bishop car park — the centre of police activity on the Coast on Saturday.

Before Christmas he gave one fellow resident at Surfers Plaza Resort a large box of chocolates to say thank you after she helped him to find a television.

"He was nice, gentle, polite," the woman said. "I'm shocked, he was the last person you'd expect.

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"I saw him a couple of times a week coming and going with groceries and that kind of thing. "He was clean-shaven and well-dressed - he always wore a hunting hat.

 

"I saw him around the middle of last week and he seemed fine, there was no indication anything was wrong."

Neighbours said the man lived alone and they never heard any disturbance at the home.

It was a far-cry from the dramatic scenes at Brisbane Airport and Surfers Paradise's Bruce Bishop Carpark on Saturday night as bomb squads swept for explosives.

The man lived on the 11th floor of the Surfers Plaza Resort, directly across the road from the carpark.

Police flooded the streets of Surfers Paradise looking for a car which was believed to have contained bomb-making materials.

Surfers Paradise CBD in lockdown. Photo: Brianna Morris-Grant
Surfers Paradise CBD in lockdown. Photo: Brianna Morris-Grant

At the same time, police at Brisbane Airport worked to corner the man, who allegedly made bomb threats while chasing a woman who was known to him with a large knife.

He was eventually taken into custody and both locations were cleared for explosives.

Police, including Australian Federal Police and a bomb dog, raided the unit on Sunday, seizing electronics from inside.

Off-cuts of wires, similar to those on a device found at Brisbane Airport were also spotted inside.

The man will have his mental health assessed.

The Brisbane Arrest Court was told yesterday that the man was still in hospital complaining of chest pains. He did not appear in court yesterday.

A mental health assessment will be conducted in coming days to determine if he is fit to face the charges against him.

The case will be heard again in the Brisbane Arrest Court tomorrow.



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