Assaulting police follows arrest
BENJAMIN Joseph Fitzhenry behaved like a “second-hand lawnmower” when arrested by police on Saturday morning.
The 27-year-old Maryborough man appeared in the city’s Magistrates Court this week where he pleaded guilty to obstructing and assaulting a police officer.
Fitzhenry was found loitering in the grounds of St Mary’s church about 2am. He was arrested after checks showed an outstanding warrant from several years ago.
Feeling hard done by, Fitzhenry lashed out at the officers.
He struggled violently with one policeman before gouging his fingernails across a second policeman’s hand.
He was considered too dangerous to sit in the back of the police sedan so a van was called to take him to the watch-house.
As Fitzhenry was placed in the van he kicked out at a police officer, knocking the officer to the ground.
Once at the station he continued to struggle with police and spat on the walls of the watch-house cell.
Prosecutor Sergeant Michael Quirk said Fitzhenry was already on parole for burglary and unlawful wounding offences he committed last year.
He stabbed a 68-year-old man in the neck with a screwdriver in August and was released on parole in December after appearing before District Court Judge Julie Ryrie.
“Prison is within range,” Sgt Quirk said.
“He was upset but that doesn’t explain the violent nature with which he attacked police.”
Defence solicitor Trinity McGarvie said Fitzhenry was a former heroin addict who now lived at Granville with his sister.
Ms McGarvie said Fitzhenry had been complying with all other conditions of his parole and had “reacted very poorly” when he was arrested.
Magistrate John Smith reduced Fitzhenry’s penalty because of his early guilty plea.
“You performed like a second-hand lawnmower when confronted by police,” Mr Smith said. “This assault is serious, with severe gouging of an officer’s arm.”
Mr Smith fined Fitzhenry $500 for obstructing police and $400 for assaulting police. He was also ordered to pay $400 compensation to the policeman he assaulted.