Drunken dance with a Bonsai tree turns ugly
A drunken electrician kicked out of a pub for dancing with a Bonsai tree has been given community service for assaulting a police officer after his bloodied father was expelled from the same venue.
Loganholme man Jake Adrian Newport, 23, was supported by family when he appeared at Cleveland Magistrates Court on Thursday where he would plead guilty to obstructing and assaulting police.
In police body worn footage shown to the court Newport was seen charging at a female police officer who was speaking to his father outside of the Cleveland Sands Hotel at around midnight on January 5.
The court saw a man, revealed as Newport's uncle, stopping the defendant mid charge.
The court heard Newport struck another police officer with his elbow in the face while they attempted to arrest him.
During the struggle an officer suffered soft tissue damage to his elbow after falling to the ground and had his body worn camera destroyed.
The defendant was only subdued after "open and closed hand tactics" had been used.
The court was told Newport was at his niece's birthday party at the popular watering hole when he was "turfed out" for dancing with a Bonsai tree.
The defendant subsequently became enraged after his intoxicated father was injured and bloodied while also expelled from the venue.
Newport's defence solicitor said his client's aggressive behaviour was out of the ordinary and explained that the defendant had become disoriented after seeing his father injured.
The court further heard Newport, who had no similar criminal history, did not strike the female police officer.
Magistrate Deborah Vasta said police have to be hypervigilant from morning to night and did not have the luxury of second guessing threats to their safety or that of the public.
"Police deal with a litany of threats, from being run over to being shot and stabbed to being regularly spat on," Magistrate Vasta said.
Newport was sentenced to 40 hours' community service and ordered to pay $250 in compensation and $349.95 in restitution.
No convictions were recorded.
Originally published as Drunken dance with a Bonsai tree turns ugly