A MAN who punched Queanbeyan’s resident magistrate and two other men during a series of unprovoked street assaults has been jailed for a minimum of nine months.
Wayne Anthony Nixon, 49, of Queanbeyan, pleaded guilty in Goulburn Local Court on Wednesday to assaulting magistrate Christopher Bone, and several other people, including arresting police, at Queanbeyan on January 31.
He will serve his full 18-month sentence if he breaches any conditions of a nine-month parole period.
Nixon remained impassive on an audio-visual link from Goulburn jail, where he had been held awaiting trial, as police recounted the events of that day before Magistrate Geraldine Beattie.
They alleged Nixon’s trail of assaults began around 4.30pm, after he was ejected from Queanbeyan’s Royal Hotel, from which he was barred by court order a week earlier.
He had threatened to “bash, shoot, or kill” a number of people.
Shortly after, Nixon approached a nearby taxi rank and threatened local driver Arthur Kostandinu and told him, “Get back in your cab.”
Another taxi driver, Amit Chhabra, got out of his cab to see if Mr Kostandinu needed assistance.
Police said Nixon yelled at Mr Chhabra, “get back to India,” and punched him in the neck.
Nixon then caught up with Mr Bone, who was walking along the street.
Mr Bone, 66, had relocated a month earlier from Batemans Bay to take up duties at Queanbeyan Local Court.
Nixon demanded to know if he was “a councillor,” and called him a dog.
Mr Bone walked to the other side of the road away from Nixon.
Terry O’Callaghan, a neighbour of Nixon, who had seen the altercation, then approached and spoke to him (Nixon). Police said Nixon then punched Mr O’Callaghan, and scratched his face.
Mr Bone walked back across the road and offered to be a witness for Mr O’Callaghan concerning the assault.
Police alleged Nixon then grabbed Mr Bone by the necktie, yanked it tight, and swung a punch at him.
This blow landed on the side of Mr Bone’s head, knocking off and breaking his glasses.
A number of police arrived, and Mr Bone told them he wished to have Nixon charged with assault.
Shortly after, in a nearby car park, while arresting police were attempting to restrain Nixon on the ground, he lashed out with his feet, shouting, “why don’t you just shoot me?”
Police allege Nixon’s kicks connected with Senior Constable Nicholas O’Flynn’s back and shoulder.
After struggling to put Nixon in a caged van, police took him to Queanbeyan Police Station, where he continued to resist and abuse them.
A total of five officers, including a policewoman, were involved in arresting and charging Nixon.
Before Nixon was sentenced, an Aboriginal Legal Service representative told the court Nixon was one of the Aboriginal “stolen generation,” and his lengthy criminal record stemmed from this, and his drug and alcohol addiction.
He had been a drug and alcohol-free role model to others while living away from Queanbeyan, and undertaking rehab from 2001-2006, but “a lot of bad influences from the past” had caught up with Nixon when he moved back.
“He doesn’t remember much of the incidents on January 31, because he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol,” the ALS lawyer said.
Magistrate Beattie told Nixon it was obvious he had alcohol or drug problems, underlined by the fact he’d committed no offences during the five years he’d been in rehab, and he’d been affected by alcohol on January 31.
She said she could only impose jail sentences on Nixon, but would allow some parole for him to undergo drug and alcohol rehab.
“But that’s up to you,” she said.
“If you break any of the conditions you’ll be back in jail.”
In all, Magistrate Beattie sentenced Nixon to 18 months, with nine months parole, for assaulting Mr Bone, Mr Chhabra and Mr O’Callaghan.
Concurrently, for assaulting police, she sentenced him to two terms of four months without parole and another 12 months with three months parole; also four months for damaging property (Mr Bone’s glasses), and six months for breaching a bond following an affray conviction last April.