Judge not smiling on Irish eyes
‘Rotten drunk’ visitor cops huge fine for police assault
REPREHENSIBLE behaviour landed an Irish national with a whopping fine in Proserpine Magistrates Court on Monday after he was charged with assaulting a police officer and urinating in public.
The court heard how Gerard Michael Carlin, 27, was spotted by police on foot patrols “grossly intoxicated” and trying to pick fights in the Safe Night Precinct, Airlie Beach, at 1.05am on August 5.
“The defendant had no shoes and could not communicate,” Police Prosecutor Senior Constable Hannah Beard told the court. “He stood up and started urinating in view of the police and other people, so he was arrested. He ran away and resisted arrest so he was wrestled to the ground with his arms put behind his back and eventually handcuffed. He was so intoxicated he couldn’t get into the police van and he kicked a police officer.
“He was taken to the Whitsunday watch house but wouldn’t be quiet and he was placed in a cell where he urinated on the floor twice.”
Duty Lawyer Cleo Rewald said Carlin, who recorded a reading of 0.262, was very embarrassed and extremely remorseful.
“This is very out of character for him,” she said.
“He has been in Australia on a working holiday visa since February 2018 and has been working at the
Collinsville solar farm – this is the first time he’s had any issues.
“He does not recall that night at all but accepts what happened; and there doesn’t appear to be any significant injuries to the police officer.”
Magistrate Simon Young said Carlin had a lack of history and had pleaded guilty early, but he had “got himself absolutely rotten drunk and attacked a police officer”.
“Notwithstanding that, it does appear to be out of character and perhaps a one-off,” he said.
“However, your behaviour was reprehensible and you are rightfully embarrassed about it and your reading.
“It is a matter that this court takes very seriously because too many police officers receive injuries from people like you and this requires general deterrence to show people it is not acceptable.”
Mr Young said obstructing a police officer usually came with community service, by law, but this was out of the question because Carlin was due to fly to Sydney that day.
“So personal circumstances justify significant fines,” he said.
He fined Carlin $2750 for three offences – two charges of assault or obstruct a police officer and the urinating in public offence.
“It is not normal to record convictions for a first offence but then a first offence is not often assaulting a police officer – I will be recording convictions,” Mr Young said.