No mem­ory of po­lice as­sault

‘Drink spiked’ de­fence for ‘ap­palling’ be­hav­iour in SNP

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

ABOUT 1.20am on March 23 Raphee Ron­nie Hasem was asked to leave Mama Africa’s Night­club be­cause she was too drunk.

What hap­pened next re­sulted in the 38-year-old fac­ing Proserpine Mag­is­trates Court on Mon­day and plead­ing guilty to four charges stem­ming from her be­hav­iour in the Air­lie Beach Safe Night Precinct.

The Air­lie Beach woman put her head in her hands as the facts were read out in court.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Se­nior Con­sta­ble Han­nah Beard told the court Hasem tried to slap the se­cu­rity guard be­fore mov­ing on to at­tack a staff mem­ber who re­fused her ser­vice.

“She slapped him around nine times, kicked him in the shin and tried to kick him in the groin. As he at­tempted to leave, she fol­lowed him down the stairs and con­tin­ued to slap him,” Snr-Con­sta­ble Beard said.

The court heard later while sit­ting out­side the venue, Hasem yelled abuse and be­gun as­sault­ing other women.

“She be­gan ran­domly as­sault­ing fe­males in the street by lung­ing at them and slap­ping then and when a man tried to break up the fight she bit him,” Snr-Con­sta­ble Beard said.

“She then lifted her dress up and showed her crutch and un­der­wear.”

When po­lice ar­rested Hasem, she be­gan kick­ing of­fi­cers, in­jur­ing one of­fi­cer’s wrist.

Duty lawyer El­iz­a­beth Smith saidHasem, a house cleaner, recalls en­ter­ing the club but not much else and sus­pects her drink was spiked.

“To the best of her rec­ol­lec­tion she had not drunk to that level,” Ms Smith said.

“When read­ing the facts out to her she was ap­palled by her al­leged be­hav­iour, and she is in­cred­i­bly em­bar­rassed.”

Mag­is­trate Si­mon Young said the mother-of-one’s be­hav­iour, where all of the of­fences in­volved a de­gree of vi­o­lence, was “ap­palling”.

“The pos­si­bil­ity of hav­ing her drink spiked is not be­yond the realms of pos­si­bil­ity in this con­text.

“Un­for­tu­nately in the Air­lie Beach SNP this type of of­fend­ing is too preva­lent and con­tin­ues to be preva­lent and I do have to con­sider is­sues of both per­sonal and gen­eral de­ter­rence.”

Mr Young noted Hasem’s early plea, lim­ited fi­nan­cial means and child to care for as mit­i­gat­ing fac­tors.

For the charges of drunk and dis­or­derly in a li­cenced premises, fail­ure to leave a li­censed premises and pub­lic nui­sance Hasem was is­sued one fine of $1000 with con­vic­tions recorded and banned from li­censed venues in Air­lie’s SNP for 12 months.

For as­sault­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer, Hasem must com­plete 80 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice within 12 months.

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