Family man in strife after abusing police in car park
A MAN launched a barrage of abuse at police when a family friend was injured in an alleged coward’s punch.
Amaru Ngatuakana was arrested and later charged with two offences following the incident in a hotel car park on March 6.
He was told by the magistrate it was “a great shame” his behaviour that night had brought him before the court for the first time.
Amaru Ngatuakana, 45, from South Ripley, pleaded guilty to committing public nuisance in the vicinity of licensed premises in Yamanto; and obstructing a police officer in a public place when adversely affected by alcohol.
Prosecutor Senior Constable Bridie O’Shea said police were called at 11.40pm by staff to Falvey’s Grand Hotel in Yamanto because of noise from a disturbance in the car park.
Police could hear loud voices and went to the car park where a crowd of people were gathered.
Ngatuakana was seen with blood on his face and clothes. Snr Const. O’Shea said he told police he was upset because a family member had been assaulted.
“He was heard shouting swear words and was told to leave with family but refused to do so,” she said.
Ngatuakana had continued to use “insulting and belittling words” to the police and also demanded to be let back into the hotel.
After being told to calm down, Ngatuakana failed to comply with police directions to get down on the ground.
He was handcuffed and taken to the police watch-house.
Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said Ngatuakana was a family man, aged 40, with no prior criminal history and the offence was very much out of character.
“His explanation is that he became quite upset when told a good friend of his was king hit,” Mr Fairclough said.
Citing his previous good behaviour Mr Fairclough sought that no conviction be recorded.
It was agreed he would have to do unpaid community service work as part of the penalty.
Magistrate Kathleen Payne told Ngatuakana his behaviour had been totally unnecessary, particularly for a man his age with no previous offences.
“It is a great shame you are here today,” she said.
“While your conduct was appalling it was also out of character.
“Police when they go to a job should not have to deal with that, with you belittling them.
“You need to control your anger.
“I understand that a friend was hit but it does not excuse your behaviour.”
Ms Payne fined him $1000 and ordered that he complete 40 hours of unpaid community service work. No conviction was recorded.