Pimlico man threw dart at APEC police



A MAN accused of throwing a dart at a policeman's head and injuring four others with a metal bar during last weekend's anti-APEC rally in Sydney has a history of assaulting police, a court has heard.

Gavin George Begbie, a 40-year-old father of one from Pimlico, near Ballina, threw the dart in an 'unprovoked attack' during Saturday's mass demonstration in the CBD, Sydney's Central Local Court heard yesterday.

It's alleged Begbie then violently swung an iron bar, which he had concealed in a newspaper, at officers trying to subdue him.

In opposing bail, police prosecutor Stuart Davis said the 13 charges against Begbie, which include resisting arrest, hindering and assaulting police, throwing a missile and being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence, were 'very serious'.

"It's alleged he randomly threw a dart at a policeman's head. I submit it was an unprovoked attack," Mr Davis said.

The police prosecutor told the court the 40-year-old farmhand had a history of violence against police.

Begbie had previously been before the courts for wielding an iron bar against police in 2006 but had received a suspended sentence, Mr Davis said.

In refusing bail, Magistrate John Bailey said Begbie's violent history counted against him.

Mr Bailey also noted that Begbie, who had been dressed in overalls, goggles, a helmet and a balaclava over his face when he was arrested, had armed himself before going to the rally.

"The defendant came onto the scene armed with items that he could use to assault the police and that in itself makes it a very serious matter," he said.

He remanded Begbie to appear again in the same court on October 15.

Outside the court, organisers of Saturday's rally distanced themselves from Begbie.

"It was one very isolated incident which had nothing to do with the majority of the peaceful protest," Ian Rintoul of the Stop The War Coalition said.

Another man arrested on Saturday, Andrew Edward Pearson, 37, of Cronulla, was granted bail after being charged with assaulting police.

His case was adjourned until November 19 at the Downing Centre Local Court.



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