Palm Island mayor Alf Lacey. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Palm Island mayor Alf Lacey. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Mayor’s son bit, threw rocks at police officers

THE son of Palm Island's mayor bit a police officer and threatened to throw rocks at them to "kill pigs".

The court heard over a six week period last year starting in September 2018, James Noel Lacey, 23, assaulted police officers who were going about their daily duties by throwing rocks at them and biting when resisting his arrest.

On September 16, 2018, James Lacey - the son of mayor Alf Lacey - approached two police officers while tossing a rock in the air. Hr motioned to throw it at them, and said it was to "kill pigs".

The court heard James Lacey did not throw the rock at first, but then picked up another before throwing it at the officer who used his arms to shield his face, before running away into nearby bushland.

The officer suffered a laceration on his forearm which required treatment, and a tetanus vaccination.

On October 31, 2018, police had been called to a home that Lacey was at to arrest him.

He hid under a pile of clothes and tried to escape through the window when police found him.

A fight ensued, and Lacey bit a police officer on the arm, who struck him on the back of head to stop the fight.

He also smashed another officer up against a window.

Lacey pleaded guilty to a raft of charges including four counts of serious assaults on police officers when he fronted Townsville District Court today.

Crown prosecutor Carly Hoyer said a victim impact statement written by the officer who was bitten, describes how he suffered pain and was prescribed a course of oral antibiotics because of the risk of contracting an infectious disease.

Ms Hoyer said the other police officer suffered bruising on his back and couldn't sleep for nights after the assault because of the pain and discomfort.

Defence barrister Scott Geeves said Lacey expressed his apologies to the two police officers he assaulted and was embarrassed for bringing shame upon his family who hold "positions of authority" on the island.

Mr Geeves said while in custody, Lacey was able to reflect upon how his altercation with law enforcement officers had the ability to affect the Palm Island community.

Judge Gregory Lynham said Lacey needed to address his "abhorrent character traits" and "troubling" disrespect of police.

"Police officers need to be respected and are not to be treated as punching bags," he said.

"Your behaviour was quite appalling … you need to curb abject disrespect towards police officers and start showing them some respect."

Lacey was sentenced to two years imprisonment and was released on parole immediately.

His 267 days spent in pre-sentence custody was declared as time already served.



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