April 19, 2012

An 18-year-old man has been given “one more chance” to avoid going to jail after he pleaded guilty to a string of charges resulting from an incident in Nanango on December 2, 2011.

Kingaroy Magistrates’ Court was told today that police were called for assistance by a publican after a man refused to leave licensed premises.

They quickly located Jade Cherry, 18, drinking from an open can of pre-mix vodka near a bus-stop. Police asked him to empty out the can and leave the CBD, which he proceeded to do.

However he returned and was heard swearing and threatening violence.

When police tried to arrest him for contravening the move-on order, Cherry allegedly pushed one officer in the chest and then “assumed a fighting stance”.

Police Prosecutor Sgt Wayne Bushell said Cherry threatened to hurt police as he was being put into the back of the police vehicle.

He then began kicking the vehicle’s door, until the lock was damaged, and ran off … with police in pursuit.

Cherry was located in an alleyway, handcuffed and taken back into custody.

Cherry was charged with contravening a move-on order, public nuisance, two counts of obstructing police, escaping lawful custody and damaging a police vehicle.

Sgt Bushell said the obstruction charges were “at the upper end of the scale” and were technically an assault. The damage to the police door showed he was kicking with significant force.

However he said police were not asking for a sentence of imprisonment, believing Cherry could be dealt with by a period of probation and community service.

Magistrate W.A. Cridland said the six charges called for a “deterrent penalty” that would reinforce to Cherry and other people that this sort of behaviour was not acceptable.

He said the “escape lawful custody” charge was one where imprisonment was within the possible range of sentences. However he noted that Cherry was taking steps to address his problems with alcohol and that the Prosecutor had not sought jail.

Cherry was sentenced to 18 months probation and 120 hours community service. No conviction was recorded. However Cherry was warned that if he was returned to court during this period he would be sent to jail and a conviction would be automatically recorded.

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