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Handcuffs Trevor Veale

Gympie man released from jail after punching two cops

A GYMPIE man claimed he "didn't mean to" throw punches at two police officers as they tried to arrest him for breaching bail conditions at Goldfields Plaza over the weekend.

Charley John Druce first breached bail conditions prohibiting him from entering the shopping centre or its carparks on Saturday morning when he walked inside and sat outside the Coles supermarket for about an hour, Gympie Magistrates Court heard yesterday.

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Druce walked inside again on Sunday morning between 9.30-10am, actually entering Coles and walking around the supermarket before leaving.

Several staff members saw Druce at the centre on both days, the court heard.

Police were called to a unit complex near Myall Lane later on Sunday morning when witnesses described a man causing a disturbance, finding Druce nearby when they arrived.

The court heard Druce tried to hide from the officers at first, and "became aggressive" when they told him he was under arrest for the bail breaches.

He tried walking away, but got more aggressive when one of the officers grabbed his arm and tried to handcuff him.

The struggle boiled over and Druce let fly a punch that connected with the officer's head, as well as injuring his knee and causing him to fall over in the fracas.

The other officer tried to intervene, but Druce threw more punches and struck her in the side of the face.

The officers eventually restrained Druce against a fence, but he continued to struggle as they arrested him and took him to the watch house.

Druce had been told not to enter Goldfields when he agreed to the bail conditions imposed earlier this month, the court heard.

He said he "didn't mean to" assault the officers, but didn't have an answer when Magistrate Chris Callaghan asked why he threw punches.

Mr Callaghan noted Druce's only history of similar offences had been a suspended sentence for three counts of assaulting or obstructing police in 2017.

Druce was sentenced to three months' jail for two offences each of assaulting a police officer and breaching bail conditions, but released immediately on parole with two days declared as time served.

Gympie Times


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