Man avoids prison for 'shameful' behaviour

A CASINO man got lucky when his nine-month jail sentence for assaulting a police officer was immediately suspended by a magistrate because of his lack of previous offences.

Magistrate Jeff Linden gave Bruce Wayne Harvey a blast, saying he should be 'thoroughly ashamed' of his behaviour for grabbing a policeman around the throat and for his continued use of offensive language on the night of the offences on September 12 last year.

Mr Linden said people in Casino who chose to abuse and assault police officers doing their job could expect to be jailed.

“Let the message get out,” he told the public gallery at Casino Local Court yesterday.

Harvey, 38, pleaded guilty to charges of offensive behaviour, assaulting a police officer, resisting police, and trying to get into a pub after being refused entry.

Harvey, who told police he owned a wrecking yard, said in court through his solicitor he had believed was not drunk that night and should have been allowed into the Cecil Hotel.

He had wanted to be breath tested to show hotel security and police he was okay, but yesterday acknowledged his behaviour had not been appropriate and he was prepared to apologise.

His solicitor said his violent behaviour was 'out of character'.

Mr Linden said what was not unusual was that drunks were the hardest to tell they were intoxicated.

After sentencing Harvey to nine months' jail, Mr Linden immediately suspended the sentence citing the lack of prior offences, then placed Harvey on a good behaviour bond.

Police facts stated that Harvey was with a group of people refused entry to the Cecil Hotel by security at 11.40pm because of their intoxication and, according to security officers, they were quarrelsome.

They had gone there after drinking at the Commercial Hotel

Passing police were waved down by security and Harvey was directed to move 50 metres away from the hotel

He began swearing at police telling them to get over to the 'f.....g police station to (breath) test him ... we'll sort this s.... out'.

After further abusing the police he was arrested.

Harvey then grabbed one senior constable around the throat with his left hand.

When Harvey was forced backwards on to the ground he again tried to strike out at the constable.

He was then rolled on to his stomach, but continued to resist police attempts to arrest him.

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