Man breached COVID restrictions, arrested after abusing police
WHEN COVID-19 hit hard in April a man was out walking the streets with mates, but when Chinchilla police stopped to question the group, they were met with a tirade of abuse.
The Chinchilla Magistrates Court heard Elston Lewis Murray told officers to, “f-ck off you dog cnts, stop harassing us.”
Police prosecutor senior constable Jodie Tahana said police then warned Murray to stop, which his response was, “f-ck off you dog c-nts.”
“He was subsequently arrested,” snr const Tahana said.
Although it didn’t go down smoothly, snr const Tahana said a woman tried to stop the arrest and a scuffle broke out before Murray was thrown to the ground and handcuffed.
“He had no reasonable excuse to be out during COVID-19 restrictions,” snr const Tahana said.
Although Murray has seven pages of criminal history, defence lawyer Michael Corbin said the 46-year-old had been ‘keeping to himself’ for the past five years and hadn’t committed any offences.
“He’s on disability support pension and has been... for the last 20 years, as a result of a motorcycle vehicle accident in 1999, where he suffered leg and skull fractures,” Michael Corbin said.
Mr Corbin also noted the COVID-19 restrictions at the time were very broad, and although not an excuse for his behaviour, Murray was quite intoxicated and influenced by a friend’s poor behaviour.
On Thursday, September 3, Murray pleaded guilty to the following charges; public nuisance, failure to comply with COVID-19 public health direction (Chief Health Officer), obstruct police, and failure to appear in accordance with an undertaking.
Magistrate Tracy Mossop told Murray she found his language towards police concerning, yet interesting.
“To call police ‘dog cnts’ – dogs are nice, I like dogs, and a lot of people like dogs,” she said.
“As for the C-word, a fixation on an appalling term which seems to have some link to a woman’s vagina – most heterosexual men like it.
“So when you call police by that term, then you must really like police.”
Murray disagreed with Ms Mossop, as a low grumble of disagreement emitted from his throat.
“Well there you go,” stated Ms Mossop.
“That’s just an example of how terminology can be misused in our society, and it’s offensive.
“If want to go and call police that, well then that means you love police – if you’re a heterosexual male.”
During sentencing, Ms Mossop said she had taken into account Murrays serious injuries that resulted in him being a long term pensioner, and his aspirations to find employment.
“You were obviously associating with someone who has disreputable conduct, and I know that because I sentenced her… and she got an actual term of imprisonment,” Ms Mossop said.
“What they say is, ‘if you lay down with dogs, sometimes you get flees’ – you need to be careful with who you associate with.”
Murray was convicted and fined $1300 for all offences, although Mossop warned Murray, “I could have given you fines today which would have exceeded $2000.”
Convictions were recorded.