A man has pleaded guilty to public nuisance after swimming naked in Airlie Beach Lagoon and then punching a security guard.
A man has pleaded guilty to public nuisance after swimming naked in Airlie Beach Lagoon and then punching a security guard.

Late night lagoon skinny dipper punches guard in face

A SKINNY dipper caught with his pants down at Airlie Beach Lagoon punched a security guard in the face multiple times when he was busted.

The guard suffered bruising and swelling around his eye as a result of the punches.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Emma Myors said when the security asked a naked Craig Raymond Phillips to leave the lagoon in the early hours of the morning in March, he charged at the guard.

Sgt Myors told told Proserpine Magistrates Court that when police arrived the guard was physically restraining Phillips and saw that he was behaving in a physically aggressive manner.

"They further observed that the security guard seemed to have bruising and swelling around his right eye," Sgt Myors said.

"He (Phillips) was then arrested and taken to the watch house."

Sgt Myors suggested the magistrate consider sentencing Phillips to community service.

"Given the fact that this particular offence, although he's not been charged with an assault offence, there is a degree of violence and it's my submission that perhaps fines may not be sufficient deterrence," she said.

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Phillips pleaded guilty to one count of committing a public nuisance within a licensed premises or in the vicinity of a licensed premises.

Lawyer Ali Ladd appeared for Phillips, explaining the 26-year-old was remorseful and embarrassed about his behaviour.

Ms Ladd said Phillips had been employed as a diesel fitter but was involved in a workplace incident and was hit in the head with a sledge hammer, which had caused some ongoing mental health concerns.

"At the time of this offence he'd only just started on some medication … he really did not appreciate the impact of taking alcohol on board while taking this medication," Ms Ladd said.

"He instructs me that he only had about six beers over the duration of that evening and he accepts that his behaviour was deplorable that evening.

"He understands he could be in a much worse position before the court but luckily he has only been charged with a public nuisance related offence."

Ms Ladd said the Cannonvale man had two relevant prior offences in his history, but they were dated.

The court heard Phillips was convicted of public nuisance offences involving assaults in 2014 and 2015.

Ms Ladd said the court could consider a fine, but a period of supervision such as probation could help to keep Phillips on a good path.

"He instructs me that he's now stopped drinking alcohol," she said.

Acting Magistrate John Milburn said given Phillips had already linked up with support services, he believed community service was appropriate.

"The circumstances that led to you committing the offence seem to be fuelled by the consumption of alcohol," Mr Milburn said.

"From your history, it seems that is an ongoing, longstanding problem.

"I'm heartened to hear you're taking remedial steps to try engaging with what appears appropriate entities to assist you with that underlying problem.

"It would seem that if you can deal with the underlying problem then you're much less likely to attend court charged with similar offences in the future."

Phillips was ordered to perform 40 hours of unpaid community service and the conviction was recorded.



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