Worker busted with hands in pants assaults boss
A warehouse worker who had his employment terminated after he was caught on CCTV with his pants down and his hands inside his underwear has told a court he was scratching himself.
Daniel James Whipps self-represented himself in the Townsville Magistrates Court where he pleaded not guilty for one count of common assault and one count of unlawful possession of motor vehicles, aircraft or vessels with intent to deprive.
Police prosecutor Bimal Raut told the court on October 8, 2018, Whipps was asked to resign from his warehouse position at The Battery Story in Garbutt.
Mr Raut called The Battery Store general manager Kishor Kumar to give evidence.
Mr Kumar said he had travelled from Cairns to confront Whipps about the CCTV footage recorded six days earlier.
"The major issue was, Mr Whipps was sitting in front of a computer with a phone in his hand and his pants around his knees and his hands inside his underwear," he said.
Mr Raut played for the court CCTV footage of the conversation between Whipps and Mr Kumar in the office when Whipps was asked to resign.
As Whipps cross-examined Mr Kumar, he asked him if he recalled that he had been suffering from a rash.
"The video shows me sitting down and telling you about my medical condition, correct?" he said.
Mr Kumar answered, "No. At no time did Mr Whipps indicate or in the job interview of any medical condition that allows him to scratch himself in the office in front of a computer".
The nine minute footage from the office meeting shows Whipps shoulder barge Mr Kumar twice before leaving the room.
Mr Kumar said before Whipps shoulder barged him, he threatened to smash his face.
Whipps told the court he was defending himself after Mr Kumar pushed his chest with his arm.
The court heard Whipps then drove the company Toyota HiLux home although his employment had been terminated as he had refused to resign voluntarily.
Mr Raut said Whipps was asked to return the car but he did not.
Whipps argued Mr Kumar had abandoned the Toyota HiLux at his home.
The court heard the Toyota HiLux was towed from Whipps residence on October 12 before it was returned to The Battery Store on October 16.
Magistrate Cathy Wadley adjourned the court before handing down her guilty verdict two hours later.
"Fortunately, the assault was at the lower end of the scale and there were no injuries," she said.
Whipps was fined $200 for the common assault and $400 for unlawful possession of motor vehicles.
No convictions were recorded.
Whipps plans on appealing the verdict.
Originally published as Worker busted with hands in pants assaults boss