NEWS Man hit female cop twice
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.