Man jailed for punching over cop's shoulder

A MAN who threw a punch over a police office's shoulder during a melee at the Royal Hotel was given six month's jail in Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday.

The court heard Gympie man Timothy Graham Butler, 25, walked behind the officer and swung a punch at a man the officer was talking to.

Butler's fist hit the victim in the jaw and was then restrained by police.

The prosecution told the court the altercation happened during a heated argument between a large group of pub goers outside the hotel on Australia Day.

The defence said the altercation followed an earlier incident that evening when Butler's brother had his jaw broken.

Butler was charged with causing a public nuisance and obstructing police. The court heard he had been convicted of similar offences in the past as well as charges of wilful damage and dangerous conduct with a weapon.

He was now serving a prison sentence for a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm.

Magistrate Maxine Baldwin said Butler's actions on January 26 were "just the definition of stupidity".

"The community will not condone drunken violence," she said, reminding him that one punch could kill.

"You need to get that message and the wider community needs to get that message."

He pleaded guilty to both charges and will be eligible for parole on August 17.

Topics:  police royal hotel

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