Man jailed for king hit on cop
A KING hit that left a police dog handler in hospital has earned Ricky James Waye a prison sentence.
The 36-year-old Coffs Harbour/Guyra man pleaded guilty in Coffs Harbour District Court on Tuesday.
His charges dated from October 22 last year, when he assaulted Senior Constable Mark Baxter in Coffs Harbour's CBD.
The court was told Sen Const Baxter was patrolling Park Ave when he was flagged down by a pedestrian and informed a man was attempting to steal copper wiring from a nearby telegraph pole.
When Sen Const Baxter approached Waye, the offender fled on foot to Studio Ln.
Sen Const Baxter followed and attempted to remove a police dog from his patrol car, unaware Waye was hiding behind a large row of bins a few metres away.
Without warning, Waye approached the officer from behind and punched him to the left side of his face.
Sen Const Baxter attempted to arrest the offender, but a struggle ensued.
The court was told Sen Const Baxter fell backwards before Waye broke free and ran away.
Photographs presented to the court detailed Sen Cont Baxter's injuries, including an "extreme" laceration to his cheek and bruising and swelling to his eye, shoulder and knee.
At the time, the offender was on conditional bail for reckless wounding and damage to property.
Waye's defence barrister Peter Davies said his client had previously been attacked by a police dog and claimed "that's the reason why he struck the officer, because he was scared the dog would be released".
Judge Ross Letherbarrow questioned this explanation, asking: "Was that the reason he attacked him from behind?"
Mr Davies told the court his client was willing to enter a period of rehabilitation, including an alcohol intervention program.
"He can't recall the exact details of the incident due to high intoxication," Mr Davies told the court.
"He says when he drinks, he tells me he 'gets crazy'."
The Crown prosecution argued Waye was aware of his propensity for violence when intoxicated and had expressed "no remorse".
"There must exist some positive signs that rehabilitation would occur under an extended period of supervision. In these circumstances, the Crown would say it goes the opposite way."
Judge Letherbarrow rejected intoxication as a mitigating factor.
"In my view, police officers have a very difficult job... (and) they do not need to be attacked in a cowardly way this officer was attacked," he said.
Waye was sentenced to two years and five months in prison and will be eligible for conditional parole on January 16, 2018.