NEWS Man hit fe­male cop twice

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS -

A YOUNG man has pleaded guilty to punch­ing a po­lice officer mul­ti­ple times in the mouth dur­ing a 200-per­son strong “dis­tur­bance” on the Tiwi Is­lands last week.

Timahis Ti­maepatua, 20, ap­peared in Dar­win Lo­cal Court on Fri­day and pleaded guilty to two counts of ag­gra­vated as­sault and one count of as­sault­ing a po­lice officer.

The court heard the fe­male po­lice officer suf­fered cuts in her mouth, bruis­ing, swelling and se­vere headaches.

The officer was un­able to fully per­form du­ties for two weeks, which heav­ily af­fected the op­er­a­tion of the Wur­ru­miyanga po­lice as a whole.

The court was told Ti­maepatua had been watch­ing a large com­mu­nity fight un­fold at Wur­ru­miyanga com­mu­nity with his 16-year-old girl­friend when he punched her in the head for an un­known rea­son.

When po­lice ar­rived to try to re­move Ti­maepatua, he struck his girl­friend in the face a se­cond time in front of po­lice and the vic­tim’s mother.

When the fe­male po­lice officer went to grab Ti­maepatua to stop him from run­ning he turned around and punched her twice in the mouth.

He fled into scrub­land but was ar­rested a short time later.

Ti­maepatua’s lawyer Micah Kick­ett said his client was high on syn­thetic cannabis at the time of the of­fend­ing, and that the com­mu­nity fight had been caused by wide­spread with­drawal from the sub­stance. “He (Ti­maepatua) was ob­vi­ously in­tox­i­cated by the syn­thetic cannabis at the time and he’s acted out of frus­tra­tion,” Mr Kick­ett said.

Prose­cu­tor Harry Hollingswo­rth told the court it was “se­ri­ous of­fend­ing” that pre­vented the po­lice officer from be­ing able to do her job.

Judge Therese Austin wanted to find out “what would be put in place” to pre­vent Ti­maepatua from re­of­fend­ing if he was re­leased from cus­tody.

“He’s a young man and that’s his home,” Ms Austin said. “It’s a bit of a Catch 22 for some­one from Wur­ru­miyanga – I don’t know what sup­port is in place for the com­mu­nity it­self.”

Ti­maepatua will be sen­tenced on March 3.

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