A DECORATED former police officer has escaped conviction for wrapping a plastic bag around a woman's neck in what the Hervey Bay court heard was a "workplace prank gone wrong".
Michael Brown, 53, was in the x-ray room of the Hervey Bay Hospital with his co-worker when he twisted a bag around her neck and held her arm behind her back.
The woman told police she began to choke and yelled out to Brown that he was hurting her.
Brown was later arrested and charged with unlawful assault.
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Defence lawyer David Hinton told the court that up until the woman made the complaint, his client had believed there was no issue between them.
He said the pair had worked together for about 12 months and often joked to "relieve the stress of working in a hospital" but that on this occasion "something has gone wrong, she's taken offence and he has ended up in court".
The court heard Brown had enjoyed a distinguished 13-year career in the South Australian Police Force.
Magistrate Graeme Tatnell said it was clear there had been a misunderstanding and it was "a prank gone horribly wrong".
Brown was released on a good behaviour bond with no criminal conviction recorded.