Sunshine Coast real estate agent Grant Cheatham.
Sunshine Coast real estate agent Grant Cheatham. Contributed

Drunk Coast real estate agent knocked out, cop cleared

A SUNSHINE Coast police officer has no case to answer after a "grossly intoxicated" man was knocked unconscious while being detained.

Senior Constable Dan Hayward placed Coast real estate agent Grant John Cheatham in handcuffs after he was being a "pest" and an "ugly drunk" in the carpark of Mooloolaba McDonald's on March 31, 2017.

Cheatham had been verbally abusing several members of public and was making attempts to flee the scene in his vehicle.

The 45-year-old was later charged with public nuisance and obstructing a police officer, to which he pleaded not guilty to at the Maroochydore Magistrates Court today.

Because of Cheatham's actions the officer had been under investigation by the Crime and Corruption Commission.

Cross examination of five witnesses, one via body camera video was executed, which all proved to have varying differences in evidence.

The officer involved and the estranged wife of the accused, Kate Cheatham, were the only two to see the entire scuffle.

Ms Cheatham's version of events was that Snr Con Hayward used unnecessary force via a "leg sweep" which ended with her husband's head hitting the concrete.

"His (Cheatham's) leg's were lifted up off the ground to my head height," she told the court.

"The officer slammed his whole body weight into the ground with full force.

"His face was caved in with massive swelling. I instantly thought he had killed him."

Cheatham - who told Snr Con Hayward he was a blackbelt in karate - made several intimidatory threats to the uniformed officer.

In Snr Con Hayward's version, he told the court he had "genuine" concerns about Cheatham's size, martial arts ability and public safety.

 

Grant Cheatham in an auction.
Grant Cheatham in an auction. Erle Levey

He told the court he could smell liquor on Cheatham and he was unstable on his feet.

The court heard that "something" happened which later saw Cheatham hospitalised.

"All of a sudden he said 'f*** this' and ferociously spun towards me, it broke the grip I had of the handcuffs," the court heard.

"His leg became trapped in mine and we both fell. I attempted to halt his fall with my leg but was unsuccessful."

Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Dave Bradley told the court Ms Cheatham's claims were "mechanically impossible" and that she was "simply not believable".

"We are talking about a one second snapshot of what happened," Snr Sgt Bradley told the court.

"She only has fragments of what happened and has re-created the events." She still has affection for her former partner and saw him in distress.

"I'm not saying she lied, but she was clearly traumatised."

Cheatham's defence lawyer David Crews questioned Snr Con Hayward's accuracy of statements.

The asked the experienced officer on why he didn't see it fit to use force earlier.

In his summary, Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin said part of Ms Cheatham's recollection of events was "nonsense".

"It was a bit of an exaggeration on her behalf in the heat of battle," Magistrate McLaughlin said.

He labelled father-of-three Cheatham a "pest" and a "drunken yobbo" trying to fight the world and fined Cheatham $300 with no conviction recorded.

Snr Con Hayward was cleared by the CCC.



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