Mag­is­trate finds for po­lice of­fended by lan­guage Court canes curse at cops

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Roanne John­son roanne. john­son@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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.

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