Former Olympic Boxer escapes jail after police assault

FORMER Olympic boxer Damien Hooper has again escaped serving a custodial sentence after his latest brush with the law.

The controversial boxer was sentenced to 18 months in jail for assaulting a police officer, but he walked free from court after being granted immediate parole.

Hooper, 22, who was born in Toowoomba, was arrested during the early hours of January 6 last year outside the Oasis Nightclub in Dalby.

He pleaded guilty earlier this year, but his sentencing was adjourned several times for various reasons.

Crown Prosecutor Michael Connolly told the Brisbane District Court last week Hooper's offending was premeditated and calculated.

He said while he was being arrested he turned his head and spat in a police officer's eye.

"When police asked him if he had any diseases he said I hope I f***ing do and I hope I infect the f***er," he said.

"The police officer endured a wait of more than six months until he was given the all-clear medically.

Hooper took to Facebook ahead of his sentencing on Friday to express to his supporters how the proceedings had affected him.

He claims he has learnt a valuable lesson.

"I realised by being in court it really made me think different about my life and how people have a positive impact on me," he said.

"Listening to my barrister made me have a different perspective on life about how many people really support and care about me - it felt great.

"I knew it already, but listening to how he explained it made me realise how blessed I am and how lucky I am to have each individual there who is doing as much as they can to show they care.

"It has been such a mental challenge these last two years, but you guys really make a difference on my life."

It is not the first time the controversial boxer has seen inside a courtroom.

Mr Connolly said the boxer had an extensive juvenile history which involved five pages of criminal and traffic offences.

He said Hooper had previous convictions for assault, assault police, stealing, public nuisance, grievous bodily harm, exposing his genitals and urininating in public.



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