Bundaberg court house
Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail
Bundaberg court house Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail Zach Hogg BUN110814CRT2

Bundaberg man found guilty of spitting at police officer

UPDATE 10AM: Zane Stuart Vinton Scells has been found guilty of spitting at a police officer and trying to bite a security guard's hand.

Scells was facing five counts of serious assault after a wild Australia Day last year at the Melbourne Hotel.

Scells was found not guilty of spitting on the hand of Senior Constable Ryan Gordon.

The fifth count, a serious assault of a Bundaberg Hospital security guard, was downgraded to a charge of common assault, to which Scells was found guilty.

He was found guilty of spitting at Senior Constable Clayton Baker on two separate occasions during the night and obstructing police.

The jury took a little more than an hour to deliver its verdict.

Scells will be sentenced today.


ZANE Stuart Vinton Scells may have a restless night's sleep as a jury decides his fate.

Scells, 36, is accused of spitting at police officers, resisting arrest and attempting to bite the hand of a Bundaberg Hospital security guard on Australia Day last year outside the Melbourne Hotel.

On the fifth day of the trial at Bundaberg District Court, both defence and prosecution made their final summaries to the eight-man, four-woman jury.

Defence barrister Jacob Robson argued there were conflicting accounts from the moment Scells was arrested.

Mr Robson said Scells was on the phone to the Queensland Ambulance Service upon his arrest and his initial struggle was not because he was resisting arrest but because he was "tackled" from behind by Senior Constable Ryan Gordon.

He said Scells' priority was the open cut on his bleeding right arm and he was unaware he was being arrested during the initial struggle.

Mr Robson said Snr Const Gordon could not confidently recall if Scells was on the phone or not.

Crown prosecutor Christopher Cook countered that, suggesting it was normal to expect some inconsistencies from police officers given the incident happened more than a year ago.

He also pointed out that Scells was the only person involved in the incident who had been drinking on the night.

Mr Robson told the jury Scells was temporarily blinded by the capsicum spray and was spitting to clear the capsicum spray.

Mr Robson said in the back of the ambulance, Scells thought he was spitting into his hands not at Senior Constable Clayton Baker.

Mr Cook argued if that were the case why had Snr Const Baker and Snr Const Gordon reacted by striking Scells twice.

Mr Cook said CCTV footage showed it took 15 minutes to restrain Scells at Bundaberg Hospital.

Mr Cook said all seven witnesses called by the prosecution described Scells "as an aggressive, violent man who committed those offences".

Mr Robson asked the jury to consider whether the evidence presented to the court was good enough to find a person guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

"He (Scells) doesn't have the chance to do this trial over," he said.

"Ultimately my

argument to you is that the evidence does not exclude the possibilities that he wasn't intending to struggle with police, he wasn't spitting on them deliberately."

The trial continues.

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