Magistrate finds for police offended by language Court canes curse at cops
A TOWNSVILLE magistrate has ruled that it is unacceptable to call police ‘‘ c*** s’’ after a 20-year-old labourer lost a court fight challenging his use of the swear word against two officers who saved him from an angry mob at a Pimlico party.
Magistrate Rod Madsen yesterday f ound Zachary Shane Robertson guilty of public nuisance and obstructing police after a trial a t t h e T o wns v i l l e Magistrates Court, ordering he pay a $ 1200 fine.
Pol i c e p r o s e c ut o r
Con- stable Amanda McKay said the slur was made when police intervened in an allout-attack on Robertson at an after-party of the Townsville Cup racing carnival in an Alroy St home on July 24, 2010, around 11pm.
Constable Timothy Madsen and Constable Ross Bond, the recipients of the insult, both gave evidence they initially saw two men chasing the defendant from the backyard to the front yard.
The officers heard a female yell out ‘‘ someone help him’’ and they jumped a fence as Robertson was pushed to the ground then a crowd started punching and kicking into him.
‘‘ He was trying to fight back but it was a lost cause
I do not consider the police officers should be disbelieved that they were offended. The utterance was vehement
called ‘‘ c*** s’’ and the pair didn’t think the slur should be part of the vernacular.
Defence l awyer Nathan Smith argued that his client, who had been drinking since 11am, used ‘‘ non-threatening language’’ which had lost its affect due to the frequency it was used in conversation.
‘ ‘ Police have heard the word c*** many times and should not be offended by the particular word,’’ he said.
But Magistrate Madsen ruled the expression was offensive to most people despite its use in books, film and on television.
The magistrate said no one should accept obscene language directed at them, including police officers who were not in any special category when compared to the general public.
‘ ‘ I do not consider the police officers should be disbelieved that they were offended. The utterance was vehement,’’ Mr Madsen said.
‘‘ The defendant must have know it would carry an extra sting – particularly in circumstances where the police were going to his aid.’’
Robertson had a conviction recorded against his name and he was fined $ 600 for each of the offences.