Public nui­sance leads to pa­role

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY NEWS AND VIEWS -

COM­MIT­TING a public nui­sance of­fence just two weeks into a suspended sen­tence re­sulted in a term of im­pris­on­ment and im­me­di­ate pa­role for a 29year-old Proser­pine man.

An­drew Draper Doyle ini­tially ap­peared in the Proser­pine Mag­is­trate’s Court on Jan­uary 5 when he was placed on a suspended sen­tence fol­low­ing an al­co­hol-fu­elled vi­o­lent in­ci­dent at an Air­lie Beach bar in Novem­ber 2014.

In sen­tenc­ing him to the three­month pri­son term, wholly and im­me­di­ately suspended for nine months, mag­is­trate Haydn St­jern­qvist warned Doyle to “in the next nine months, ev­ery time you have a drink, just think about that”.

Just 18 days later, at 11pm on Jan­uary 23, po­lice re­ceived a 000 call about an in­ci­dent in­volv­ing a man and woman in the area around Chap­man and Marathon streets.

Shortly af­ter the in­ci­dent was re­ported, Doyle was found on Chap­man Street in what po­lice de­scribed as a highly in­tox­i­cated state.

When asked about his in­volve­ment in the dis­tur­bance he al­legedly ac­cused po­lice of “pick­ing on me be­cause I’m black” say­ing “I’ve done noth­ing wrong”.

In court on Mon­day, de­fence solic­i­tor Sher­rie Meade from RJ Tay­lor Law said Doyle didn’t deny he had is­sues with al­co­hol.

“[In fact] ev­ery time he’s ap­peared be­fore the court... it’s re­lated to al­co­hol use,” she said.

Ms Meade said Doyle hadn’t drunk at all since the day of this in­ci­dent.

“He can­not drink and that’s the only way he can keep his fam­ily, keep his job and keep his house,” she said.

Ms Meade could not ig­nore the fact this was Doyle’s sec­ond public nui­sance of­fence in­volv­ing al­co­hol and vi­o­lence in a mat­ter of weeks, but she begged Mr St­jern­qvist not to im­prison the fa­ther of two, say­ing it would “im­pact on his fam­ily sub­stan­tially”.

In­stead, she sub­mit­ted he should be given the op­por­tu­nity to prove he was sin­cere about ab­stain­ing from al­co­hol.

Nonethe­less Mr St­jern­qvist said the is­sue with al­co­hol was iden­ti­fied last time “as it has been many times be­fore”.

“[And] this is just more of the same... stop talk­ing about it and start do­ing some­thing about it,” he said.

Mr St­jern­qvist ac­ti­vated the suspended sen­tence order­ing Doyle serve the whole three-month term. He also im­posed a fresh pri­son term of the same length mak­ing a to­tal of six months. Doyle was im­me­di­ately re­leased on pa­role but warned any fur­ther of­fences would land him be­hind bars with­out an ap­pear­ance in court.

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