Bomb hoax after birthday bash

CELEBRATING his uncle's 60th birthday bash fizzled out for John Francis after he biffed a Reef Hotel security officer and phoned 000 with a bomb hoax.

When Gladstone police rushed to the 28-year-old's home after tracing the phone call, he was found drunk and sound asleep in his bed, with his phone.

Call details showed it had just dialled 000.

It was a not a night for memories though; Francis says he does not remember much due to all the alcohol.

Francis pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to using a carriage service to make a hoax threat on May 3, and assault causing bodily harm when affected by alcohol.

Prosecutor Sgt Merrilyn Hoskins said police were called at 1.05am to the Reef Hotel after a patron assaulted a security guard with a punch to the head. The guard received swelling in the mouth and a bruised cheek.

Sgt Hoskins said Francis was arrested but because of his intoxication had been released into the care of the Queensland Ambulance Service. At 2.28am police were alerted to a 000 call in which a male voice stated "there's a bomb". When asked where, Francis said "Australia".

Sgt Hoskins said police went to his home and found him asleep with the mobile phone.

Defence lawyer Bradley Krebs said his uncle's birthday was meant to be a fun night but turned sour for him.

"He well and truly over indulged in alcohol. He was heavily intoxicated. He has vague memories" Mr Krebs said. "There was no rhyme or reason for the phone call."

Magistrate Penelope Hay ordered Francis to complete 60 hours of unpaid community service work for the assault. He is also banned from the Gladstone Safe Night Precinct for 12 months.

Francis was convicted and received a 12 month good behaviour bond for the bomb hoax.



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