Man convicted of punching officer

SCOTT McGREGOR should have quit while he was ahead and left a Lismore pub when asked to do so by its manager.

Instead, he insisted on staying put at the Gollan Hotel and punched a police officer when again told to move on.

McGregor, 23, a student, of Goonellabah, was fined $1150 after pleading guilty in the Lismore Local Court yesterday to assaulting an officer; resisting police; using offensive language; and failing to leave licensed premises when required at 11.30pm on March 6.

Dressed in a bright blue shirt and representing himself, McGregor told Magistrate Robyn Denes he had been at the pub with a few friends when it ‘got a little bit out of control’.

“A bit stupid wasn’t it, Mr McGregor,” Ms Denes said.

“There is a letter here from your mother that says you apologised to police.”

McGregor said he did go to the police station to make an apology, but the officer had been detained elsewhere.

“Why didn’t you just go home when police told you to go home,” asked the magistrate.

“I don’t know,” McGregor said.

Ms Denes said while it might be just another case of alcohol and boys being silly, unfortunately such behaviour was prevalent and serious because it took up valuable police time, along with assaults on police who were just trying to do their job.

Ms Denes fined McGregor $150 for his foul language and $500 for assaulting the officer, and another $500 for resisting a police officer. He was convicted, but received no monetary penalty for failing to leave the hotel.

Police facts before the court revealed how two officers had an ongoing lengthy struggle with McGregor, who continually refused to leave the hotel and who had kept up a torrent of abuse at them.

Police stated they first heard McGregor yelling within the hotel as they drove past.

When they stopped and he refused their requests to move on, McGregor punched one constable in the face with a closed fist and a struggle ensured.

McGregor was eventually wrestled to the ground and rolled on to his back and handcuffed.

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