Kerri Moore

35-year-old walks free after spitting at officer

TROY Anthony Kirby has walked free after spitting blood and mucus in a police officer's face and head-butting another in the head at the Hervey Bay Hospital.

Kirby pleaded guilty in Maryborough District Court to four counts of serious assault in relation to a disturbance at the hospital on July 11.

The Fraser Coast man, 35, has a significant criminal history which includes other violent outbursts and assaults against police officers.

The court heard police were called after Kirby was found lying in a Hervey Bay park calling for help.

Police then took Kirby to Hervey Bay Hospital in order for him to receive treatment.

It was there he lashed out at police, first head-butting one officer so hard he caused a cut just above his eye before spitting blood and mucus at a second officer.

Crown prosecutor Jessica Eldridge said the officer who was head-butted has been left with a small, raised scar.

"Frontline staff such as hospital and police workers have the right to go about their business without fear," she said.

Defence barrister Paul Rutledge said Kirby was trying to deal with drug and alcohol problems and had been going to courses while in prison.

Mr Rutledge said Kirby was also dealing with mental health problems.

Kirby had spent the previous four-and-a-half months in prisons, a majority of which was on a return to prison warrant.

The court heard 30 days of that time was declarable at pre-sentence custody for the assault on police.

Judge Michael Noud said in his sentencing remarks that "generally speaking" an assault of police was a serious matter which would attract prison time.

"I am taking something of a risk with you," he said.

Mr Noud sentenced Kirby to two years prison for the spitting which was wholly suspended. Kirby was also sentenced to two years probation for the head-butting.


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