Drunk man blows smoke in cop’s face outside Mackay club
A MAGISTRATE ripped into a drunk pest who blew smoke into a cop's face outside a Mackay nightclub before the man shaped up to officers after he was arrested and taken to the watch house.
Daniel Michael O'Brien learned his behaviour could warrant a jail term - instead he was lucky to walk away with community service.
He had been standing outside The Rabbit Hole as police patrolled the area and performed COVID-19 compliance spot checks.
The intoxicated 20 year old walked up to the two officers, unsteady on his feet and holding a lit cigarette.
"Police politely asked him to move on as the smoke from the cigarette was wafting into (them)," Senior Constable Hannah Beaumont told Mackay Magistrates Court.
Instead he stepped towards Constable Bryana Stanley and took a drag from the smoke before leaning forward.
Snr Const. Beaumont said from about 50cm away "he blew smoke into her face for about three seconds" before laughing.
O'Brien was arrested and taken to Mackay watch-house where he yelled abuse at the officers including "f*** yeah c***, what ya gonna do c***, you're scared c***, you're a f***ing p**** c***, and do something f***ing p****".
The court heard he refused to take his shoes off "while swinging his arms by his side and moving his body in a manner resembling a fighting stance".
Sen-Const. Beaumont said O'Brien also kicked out at the officers who attempted to remove his shoes.
The second year plumbing apprentice pleaded guilty to assault police and obstruct police.
Defence solicitor Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi, of Wallace and Wallace Lawyers, said her client was "embarrassed and remorseful" about his behaviour.
The court heard he had no criminal history, which Ms Adorni-Braccesi said showed O'Brien's offending was "out of character".
Acting Magistrate Ron Muirhead said while O'Brien's level of intoxication was partly to blame for the offending it was "no excuse".
"Drunkenness is no excuse for that sort of behaviour or any criminal behaviour," Mr Muirhead said.
"In my view a term of imprisonment should be considered. Not to be suspended, not to be given parole, to serve time in jail.
"Your behaviour was completely out of order."
Although a jail term was in range, Mr Muirhead said young people with no criminal history were treated more leniently by the courts and accepted it was out of character.
"In my view it would be unfair to send a young person like yourself to jail for … one night of stupidity brought about by alcohol".
O'Brien must complete 60 hours of community service in 12 months.
Mr Muirhead told him community service was "quite often" the last step before jail.
Convictions were not recorded.