JAILED: Michael Peter Gregory pleaded guilty in court today to 16 charges.
JAILED: Michael Peter Gregory pleaded guilty in court today to 16 charges.

‘Disgraceful:’ Man jailed for assault on security guard

A DRUG user who assaulted a supermarket security guard during strict COVID-19 procedures has been jailed.

Michael Peter Gregory, 39, fronted Maroochydore Magistrates Court today on video link and pleaded guilty to 16 charges including assault, stealing and wilful exposure.

Police prosecutor James Allen told the court during the months of March and April this year, Gregory had punched a security guard at a shopping centre, assaulted a police officer by kicking him in the groin at the police station and stole from senior citizens.

“The assault on the security guard is the most serious offence,” he said.

“It occurred at the Nambour Mill shopping complex on March 29 when there were very strict rules set in place by the Chief Health Officer.

“The assault on workers doing their jobs is disgraceful - that the offender would assault an essential worker overseeing customers entering and exiting the store to keep the staff and shoppers safe aggravates this offending.”

The court heard the security guard’s injuries consisted of a split lip and bruising and soreness to the ear as a result of Gregory punching the victim in the head.

Photographs of the injuries were presented as evidence in court.

“The next most serious offending is the stealing and attempted stealing at the Beach House Hotel on March 9,” Mr Allen said.

The court heard Gregory attempted to steal from a 75-year-old pensioner who was followed up the street and into the hotel and the other was an 80-year-old who felt the defendant bump into him from behind and realised later he had been pick pocketed and his wallet had been stolen.

“Seeing the defendant target the elderly is appalling,” Mr Allen said.

The court also heard Gregory had also committed two public nuisance offences, as well as exposing his genitals in a public place on March 29.

Gregory had received a six-month suspended sentence in 2016 for a common assault of a security guard at hospital.

Gregory’s lawyer, Lachlan Ygoa-McKeown, told the court Gregory had a troubled childhood.

“His mother left with what he described as a bikie when he was four and his older brother was very violent,” Mr Ygoa-McKeown said.

“After trying drugs in his early 20s, it became a serious issue in his 30s when he escalated to methamphetamine.”

The court heard Gregory was taking drug counselling.

Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist had some stern words for his drug use.

“Most of the reason you’re in there - we’ll call it 85 per cent is because of your drug use and homelessness,” he said.

“Your history is indicative of a person with a problem with a Schedule 1 drug.”

Gregory was jailed for nine months and convictions were recorded.

Gregory’s 43 days already spent in jail were declared and he was given a parole release date of July 22.

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