An Australian man charged with wilful damage for attacking an army helicopter with a garden mattock (similar to a pickaxe) while riding a tricycle has appeared in a central Queensland court.

Peace activist Bryan Law, 57, was arrested after the unusual incident during the Talisman Sabre war games at Shoalwater Bay in central Queensland on July 21 last year.

In a statement released before his appearance in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Thursday, Law said the stunt, which put a hole in the helicopter’s door, cost the Department of Defence $180,000 in repairs.

His accomplice, Graeme Dunstan, 69, allegedly helped Law by opening the gate to the airfield.

Dunstan says he and Law do not regret their actions.

“It (the helicopter) is a death machine which will otherwise be deployed to Afghanistan and used to kill some of the poorest people on earth who have dared to resist an invasion of the armies of some of the richest peoples on earth,” Dunstan said in the statement.

The outspoken pair also organised a protest outside the courthouse before their matters were heard.

Law’s matter was adjourned until May 24.

Dunstan’s wilful damage charge has been committed to be heard in the Rockhampton District Court at a date to be set.

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