Health issues put forward

A YOUTH appeared in Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday charged with the attempted assault of two ambulance officers.

Lee Casey Mathew Deller was given probation after entering guilty pleas to two counts of unlawful assault.

Police Prosecutor Constable Troy Daubaras told the court an ambulance was called to a Pershouse Street address at 2.30am on April 17 to attend to a female patient.

As the ambulance officers were approaching the residence, the court heard that the defendant started yelling at them that he was going to kill them. He then raised his fists and ran at the officers.

The ambulance officers backed off and separated so he could not attack both of them but he kept yelling more threats at them that he was going to kill them.

The officers then left the scene and the defendant ran off and hid in a neighbour’s bushes where police found him a short time later.

The ambulance officers told police they feared for their lives.

Police spoke to the defendant at 7.40am and he refused to be interviewed claiming he was drunk and couldn’t remember his actions.

“His behaviour was totally inappropriate and a fine is not suitable for this type of offence, a deterrent needs to be set,” Const Daubaras said.

The defendant had a history of drug offences and substance abuse problems.

Defence solicitor Stacey O’Gorman said her client was using only alcohol that night and no drugs were involved.

“My client has mental health issues. He has recently been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome but prior to that had been misdiagnosed with schizophrenia,” she said.

“He has been in and out of mental wards and seeing the ambulance officers freaked him out because he thought they were coming for him and he has a fear of going back.”

The defendant acknowledged his behaviour was not appropriate and has since begun counselling with Anglicare in the Healthy Minds program.

The 19-year-old has also started his own home handyman business and has the support of his grandparents to help him get his life back on track.

Magistrate Damian Carroll placed Deller on two years’ probation with convictions recorded.

“Your conduct was quite serious. The ambulance officers were just doing their job and they need to be protected,” Mr Carroll said.

“Two years’ probation reflects the gravity of the offence. These are very serious offences but there are extenuating circumstances.”

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