Magistrate asks who is fuelling violent drunks in our clubs

WHEN it comes to alcohol-fuelled violence, Magistrate Cameron Press has had enough.

Yeppoon plumber Benjamin Jason Halls, 23 faced Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday, but it was police prosecutor Snr Const Shaun Janes, the Queensland Police Service and Rockhampton licensees that Mr Press turned on.

Halls was charged with one count each of public nuisance and obstruct police after going on a drunken rampage in the Rockhampton CBD.

Snr Constable Janes told the court after spending hours drinking at the Giddy Goat Cafe and Bar, Halls was ejected from the premises for being drunk and disorderly. He was later involved in a physical altercation with a male bystander, who suffered a fractured nose and black eye, before being restrained and arrested by police.

Magistrate Cameron Press
Magistrate Cameron Press

"So many people come before this court on charges relating to being intoxicated in the centre of town," Mr Press said.

"They are getting intoxicated somewhere...not once have I seen a licensee prosecuted in this court.

"Are people wiping themselves out at home before going to town, and then drinking soft drink and water and then leaving?

"This is a serious question that the police need to address. The community is sick and tired of alcohol-fuelled people being violent."

Under section 158 of the Liquor Act 1992 a person must not, on a premises to which a licence or permit relates, supply liquor to or permit or allow liquor to be supplied to or allow liquor to be consumed by a person who is unduly intoxicated or disorderly. Selling or giving liquor to a disorderly patron, allowing liquor to be given to the patron or allowing the patron to consume liquor can see licensees or managers face a maximum penalty of $58,900 and bar staff or individuals a maximum penalty of $9424.

Mr Press handed down a $1000 fine and ordered Halls to complete 40 hours community service.

A Giddy Goat spokesperson declined to comment.

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