Man kicks police officer and escapes conviction
A WHITSUNDAY man who kicked a police officer in a drunken rage has been extremely lucky to avoid a jail sentence which would have prevented his soon-to-be wife from securing a permanent visa.
Instead, he was handed $3000 in fines and 80 hours of community service.
Police found Kenneth John Sanderson, 30, drunk and arguing with a security guard outside Paddy's Shenanigans in Airlie Beach around 9.50pm on May 13 when he became aggressive.
Police prosecutor Bernhard Berger said that after Sanderson was told by police to calm down because he was too angry, he told one police officer “I’m not f ****** angry you c***”. After being told he was under arrest, a scuffle ensued in which Sanderson tensed his arms and refused to be carried away to the police car. After more officers arrived to assist, he was eventually taken to the back of a police vehicle where he kicked a police officer in the arm during the arrest. Later at the watchhouse he struggled during a search and police used OC spray on him.
Pleading guilty to assaulting and obstructing police while intoxicated and public nuisance, Proserpine Magistrates Court heard on Monday how Sanderson was soon to be married and that any convictions against him would likely prevent his engaged partner from obtaining a green card.
In sentencing, magistrate Ron Muirhead said Sanderson had been in court before for similar incidents and only had himself to blame.
“If you want to get drunk and behave like that, you’ve got to accept whatever consequences follow from your actions,” he said.
However Mr Muirhead also admitted it had been seven years since Sanderson’s last offence and that a conviction would cause an even greater punishment.
Admitting he was “stretching the laws to the limit”, Mr Muirhead ordered no convictions be recorded.