Head-but­ter in slam­mer

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

AF­TER head-butting a po­lice of­fi­cer on Fri­day night, a NSW man will be re­united with his fam­ily for Christ­mas.

AJ David Martin, 27, flew with friends to the Whit­sun­days on October 6 to en­joy a week­end in Air­lie Beach.

In­stead, he served four days in cus­tody.

Martin pleaded guilty on Mon­day to ob­struct­ing and as­sault­ing po­lice.

The vi­o­lence un­folded shortly af­ter 10pm on October 6, when Shed Bar se­cu­rity called po­lice to the venue to re­move an­other man caus­ing a dis­tur­bance.

Shortly af­ter be­ing kicked out of the bar, the man re­turned to speak to Martin, and po­lice ar­rested him.

Pros­e­cu­tor Sheena Hayes said the man asked Martin not to leave him as po­lice took him to the car.

“(Martin) stood in front of the po­lice door pre­vent­ing po­lice from clos­ing the door and from (the man) be­ing se­cured,” she said.

“(Martin) was then warned to step away or be ar­rested, he re­fused and threat­ened the po­lice.

“Once he was ad­vised he was un­der ar­rest he be­came in­creas­ingly ag­gres­sive and was ver­bally threat­en­ing to as­sault po­lice.”

The ver­bal ex­change continued un­til Martin swiftly head-butted one of the po­lice of­fi­cers, with the im­pact knock­ing the of­fi­cer back a me­ter.

Martin was then tasered, hand­cuffed and taken to the watch­house.

The of­fi­cer suf­fered no frac­tures from the at­tack.

De­fence Lawyer Cleo Re­wald said Martin had a fuzzy rec­ol­lec­tion of the at­tack.

“(Martin) has in­di­cated to me he has ex­tended his apol­ogy to the of­fi­cer. He is will­ing to pay com­pen­sa­tion,” she said.

Mag­is­trate Si­mon Young said the court needed to con­demn vi­o­lence against po­lice.

“The Air­lie Beach Safe Night Precinct does un­for­tu­nately have some lit­tle his­tory of in­ter­state peo­ple fly­ing in for a week­end away... they get highly in­tox­i­cated and com­mit acts of se­ri­ous vi­o­lence,” he said.

“In my rec­ol­lec­tion, there are some 15 in­ci­dents of sig­nif­i­cant vi­o­lence in­volved with po­lice in the Safe Night Precinct this year.”

Martin will serve two months of a nine-month prison sen­tence, to be sus­pended for 18 months.

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