Sus­pended sen­tence for pub­lic nui­sance of­fence

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

A 24-YEAR-OLD Mackay man in­volved in a one-punch style in­ci­dent on the main street of Air­lie Beach has been placed on a sus­pended sen­tence for the next 12 months.

Bray­den Al­lan Cook ap­peared in the Proser­pine Mag­is­trate’s Court on Mon­day, charged with com­mit­ting a pub­lic nui­sance of­fence, pos­sess­ing danger­ous drugs and ob­struct­ing po­lice.

At 3.50am on July 17, Cook was found, bleed­ing from the head, in the McDon­ald’s res­tau­rant of Air­lie Beach.

He was iden­ti­fied by wit­nesses who said he had punched a French tourist in the head out­side the pie shop fur­ther up the street.

Wit­nesses told po­lice the tourist was knocked out but re­gained con­scious­ness and walked away.

Cook was ar­rested and trans­ported to the watch house where he was searched. A bag con­tain­ing 0.6g of cannabis was found in the front pocket of his jeans.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor El­iz­a­beth Smith said Cook had al­ready been treated by paramedics but his head wound was still bleed­ing, hence the de­ci­sion was made to call an am­bu­lance and trans­port him to hos­pi­tal for fur­ther med­i­cal as­sis­tance.

Ac­cord­ing to Ms Smith, Cook didn’t want to go to hos­pi­tal, re­luc­tantly walk­ing to the am­bu­lance and plac­ing him­self in the para­medic’s seat, from which he re­fused to move.

She said he strug­gled with po­lice who were forced to break his grasp on items in the am­bu­lance.

He was even­tu­ally phys­i­cally moved to the stretcher and strapped in.

In court on Mon­day, Cook, who man­ages a bar in Mackay, said he was now seek­ing coun­selling for al­co­hol abuse.

Mag­is­trate Haydn St­jern­qvist said this was one of the more se­ri­ous types of pub­lic nui­sance of­fence, in­volv­ing drunken and gra­tu­itous vi­o­lence.

He re­ferred to the slo­gan “one punch can kill” and said de­ter­rents for this kind of of­fend­ing were paramount.

For the of­fences of pos­sess­ing drugs and ob­struct­ing po­lice, Cook was fined $660 on each count.

For the pub­lic nui­sance of­fence he was sen­tenced to four months im­pris­on­ment, wholly and im­me­di­ately sus­pended for an op­er­a­tional pe­riod of 12 months.

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