Man hits police, assaults tourist

A WELL-respected member of the community with no criminal history faced Gladstone Magistrates Court on one count of assault occasioning bodily harm and four counts of assault or obstruct a police officer.

Barry John Collins, who is president of a local football club and football coach and referee, entered guilty pleas to all five charges.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Troy Daubaras told the court at 2am on June 12 an interstate visitor was walking down Goondoon Street when Collins approached him and said “what did you say” before punching him in the nose. Police who were patrolling Goondoon Street at the time stopped to see the victim holding his bloody nose with one hand while trying to protect himself with the other hand.

The man’s female friend was visibly distressed. When police approached Collins he swung a punch, hitting one police officer in the bottom lip and throwing punches at both police officers.

Police tackled Collins to the ground, with him still throwing punches. Collins was eventually restrained and handcuffed and appeared to be calming down. However once on his feet he became hostile to police again and refused to stand.

Police had to lift Collins into the police car. The victim was taken to hospital with a suspected broken nose.

Defence barrister David Murray said the incident was a random act of violence with a low level of injury to the victim.

“My client is 45 years old and has never been involved in any acts of violence before,” Mr Murray said.

Collins was sentenced to two months jail suspended for four years for the assault charge. He was fined $1500 or 20 days jail for the four charges of assault or obstruct a police officer.

He was ordered to pay $400 compensation to the victim and $250 and $150 compensation to the two police officers within four months. Convictions were recorded.

“I need to set a deterrent for you and others,” Magistrate Damien Carroll said.



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