Father of five imprisoned after spitting on sergeant

Aaron Lee Coady
Aaron Lee Coady Contributed

A FATHER of five has been sentenced to seven months in prison after he committed a series of serious offences including spitting on a Gladstone police sergeant.

Of the six charges Aaron Lee Coady, 42, pleaded guilty to in Gladstone Magistrates Court last week, acting Magistrate Mark Morrow said the truly "horrendous" act was the spitting at police.

The court heard that on November 7 at 6pm, police found Coady at Barney Point Beach, where they tried to ask him questions about him breaching a protection order earlier that day.

About an hour before, police had attended an address for another matter and were shown a recording of a phone call from the defendant to the aggrieved.

Both the aggrieved and a witness identified Coady's voice in the recording, yelling "You'll get a hiding when I get over there, you'll end up in a box you dog, I'm going to run into the house and bash you up."

Police prosecutor acting Senior Constable Balan Selvadurai said as police approached Coady at the beach, he became aggressive and refused to comply with them as they questioned him, forcing them to physically restrain him.

Coady then grabbed the left sleeve of a constable's uniform and pulled him toward himself.

Gladstone Court House, Yarroon Street.

Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer
Gladstone Court House, Yarroon Street. Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer Brenda Strong GLA281013CORT

Once they successfully restrained the defendant, Snr Const Selvadurai said police tried to escort Coady to their vehicle but struggled because he kept "dropping his weight and planting his foot".

"He was swearing and yelling loudly," he said.

Due to his aggressive behaviour, Coady was placed in a padded cell at the watchhouse, where he spat at security cameras on the walls of the cell.

More than an hour later, it was decided Coady was to be moved from the padded cell to a regular one. At this time, Coady ran at the cell's door and spat at a sergeant twice, hitting him on the neck the second time.

It was this act which carried the defendant's head sentence of seven months' imprisonment.

Mr Morrow told Coady he had to stop "using (police) as (his) punching bag" and that his behaviour could not be "tolerated".

"The really horrendous part of this is you spitting on the sergeant ... (You) are lucky it was on the neck, not the face," he said.

"The range is 6-12 months if it had been on the face."


Defence lawyer Lauren Townsend agreed it was a serious offence.

But she said the incident was less serious than it could have been as it caused "minimal anxiety" for the officer and there was less risk of disease transmission on the neck.

"The police haven't even felt the need to seek a disease test order," she said.

Mr Morrow accepted all the offences committed on November 7 had occurred after some "family issues" got out of hand, leading to the DVO breach and the subsequent offences.

Ms Townsend told the court her client was "deeply ashamed".

Coady will be released on parole on December 4.

Topics:  assault crime gladstonecourt gladstone magistrates court magistrate mark morrow police

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