Com­ments lead to prison term

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

A MOUNT JU­LIAN man who sub­jected a fe­male po­lice of­fi­cer to what mag­is­trate Haydn St­jern­qvist de­scribed as “dis­gust­ing pub­lic hu­mil­i­a­tion” will spend the next two months be­hind bars.

Ste­fan Brook Derepas ap­peared in the Proser­pine Mag­is­trate’s Court on Mon­day, charged with com­mit­ting a pub­lic nui­sance of­fence. The court heard that on Fe­bru­ary 14 at 11.50pm, po­lice were con­duct­ing foot pa­trols of the Air­lie CBD when they saw Derepas bang­ing on the roof of a po­lice car parked on the street. Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor El­iz­a­beth Cas­sells said he yelled ob­scen­i­ties at po­lice be­fore walk­ing away.

Af­ter ini­tially re­fus­ing to pro­vide ID and con­tin­u­ing to swear at po­lice, Derepas was ar­rested.

Ac­cord­ing to Ms Cas­sells, he yelled fur­ther ob­scen­i­ties at a fe­male po­lice of­fi­cer dur­ing his ar­rest. As well as mak­ing com­ments of a sex­ual na­ture he threat­ened to punch and head­butt her and slit her throat.

Ms Cas­sells said the 35year-old had a lengthy his­tory of street of­fend­ing and had served pe­ri­ods of time in cus­tody as a re­sult.

De­fence so­lic­i­tor Sher­rie Meade con­ceded Derepas’ ac­tions were “of­fen­sive and dis­re­spect­ful” but she sub­mit­ted there were mit­i­gat­ing cir­cum­stances and she asked mag­is­trate Haydn St­jern­qvist to take those into ac­count. Mr St­jern­qvist said Derepas’ his­tory was lit­tered with of­fences such as ob­struct­ing and as­sault­ing po­lice and wil­fully dam­ag­ing po­lice property, stretch­ing back to 1995.

He said in 2013, Derepas was sen­tenced to three and nine month prison terms in the South­port Mag­is­trate’s Court, of which he served 92 days be­fore be­ing re­leased on pa­role.

As for the of­fend­ing of Fe­bru­ary 14, Mr St­jern­qvist told Derepas he had sub­jected the fe­male po­lice of­fi­cer to “re­pug­nant, dis­gust­ing com­ments, de­signed en­tirely to hu­mil­i­ate, de­grade and de­mean”.

Derepas was sen­tenced to five months im­pris­on­ment to be sus­pended for 15 months af­ter serv­ing two.

He has also been banned from all li­censed premises in the Air­lie Beach precinct for 12 months.

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