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Relief after hep C tests return safe, clear result

ALL CLEAR: Anthony Fowler and Michael Falvey at the Cecil Hotel in Goodna.
ALL CLEAR: Anthony Fowler and Michael Falvey at the Cecil Hotel in Goodna. Rob Williams

AN IPSWICH bar manager endured a tense six-month wait for blood test results after being stabbed by an intravenous drug user's syringe.

Michael Falvey, manager of the family-owned Falvey's Cecil Hotel at Goodna, was called into work suddenly one night in June last year, after another employee noticed two men using the pub toilets to inject drugs.

The pub had been experiencing ongoing issues with drug users frequenting the car park and toilets, and staff had been instructed to keep a close eye on anyone who looked suspicious.

When Mr Falvey and fellow Cecil manager Anthony Fowler confronted two such individuals, about 7pm on June 29, 2013, a confrontation ensued in which Mr Falvey was stabbed once in the hand with a syringe that had only just been used to inject drugs.

While there was a degree of immediate discomfort, it paled in comparison to the six-month wait Mr Falvey had to sit through until his full blood test results came back negative.

The offender, who had only just used the needle on himself, was positive for hepatitis C.

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"It was a nervous time for me, but thankfully the test came back negative," Mr Falvey said.

"The needle had only just been used and I'm told the chances of contracting a disease increase when that happens."

Despite what could have been dire consequences for Mr Falvey and Mr Fowler, the bar manager said he would rather it was him being stuck by a syringe than one of his patrons.

Rhion Martin Little, 28, this week admitted to a charge of serious assault relating to the offence, before facing sentencing at the Ipswich District Court.

The matter had been listed for trial, however Little entered a guilty plea after the charge was downgraded from assault occasioning bodily harm while armed.

Little was sentenced to six months jail, with a parole eligibility date of November 6 this year.

The sentence will be served cumulatively, on top of another sentence for a prior, unrelated offence.

Topics:  ipswich district court serious assault



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