Drunk crashes car, assaults police

DRUNK and speeding, Michael Barrie crashed his mate’s Commodore through a metal fence, a garage wall and into a parked Ford Falcon at a house in Roseberry Street, Woodenbong.

And when he was prevented from fleeing the scene he assaulted an off-duty police officer.

Barrie, 28, a professional fisherman, pleaded guilty in the Lismore Local Court to seven charges, including negligent driving and high-range drink-driving (0.240) at 12.05am on January 3.

The charges stem from turning a good night out with the boys at the Woodenbong Hotel into a demolition derby.

The other five charges Barrie pleaded to were: never licensed to drive; intimidate, resist and assault Snr Const Michael Chaffey; and trespass.

Prosecutor Sgt Peter Costin-Nielsen opposed bail saying police feared Barrie my not attend court for what was a serious matter with ‘disturbing’ facts and because he had no fixed address.

He said Barrie had three passengers when he crashed and a blood/alcohol reading of .240 and had become ‘argumentative and violent’ toward the officer.

Defence lawyer Amy Barker said her client was a professional fisherman who worked eight months of the year in the Gulf of Carpentaria, but would live with his father, a former police officer, at his home near Wollongong until the matter was finalised.

Police facts state Barrie was speeding along Unumgar Street when he failed to take the corner into Roseberry Street and left the road careering through a Colorbond fence into the side of a detached garage and striking the side of the parked Ford Falcon.

When off-duty officer Chaffey arrived at the crash scene he heard Barrie say ‘lets get out of here, we’ll pay you the money. Let’s go before the cops show up’.

Despite Snr Const Chaffey identifying himself as a police officer, Barrie was aggressive and kept trying to leave the scene, telling the officer ‘don’t touch me or I’ll hit you’.

He lashed out at Snr Const Chaffey then threw a half-empty can of Jack Daniels at him, striking the officer on the upper arm.

During a violent struggle Barrie managed to tear himself away from the policeman’s hold, tearing his own shirt from his body in the process, before running off and jumping over a fence into a house yard, it’s residents yelling to Barrie to ‘get out’ before being caught and arrested.

The case was adjourned for sentence to Wollongong Local Court on February 22.

Barrie was given bail by Magistrate Nicholas Reimer that included a $500 surety from his forgiving friend, Woodenbong resident Keith Hughes, the owner of the ill-fated blue Commodore wagon that he crashed.

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