COURT: The court heard, Billy James Bawden, was on a suspended sentence at the time of the offence for the dangerous operation of a car, as well as assault causing bodily harm. Pic: Supplied
COURT: The court heard, Billy James Bawden, was on a suspended sentence at the time of the offence for the dangerous operation of a car, as well as assault causing bodily harm. Pic: Supplied

Gas worker kicked vomit around in police cell, headbutted toilet

A YOUNG man on parole, faced court for "appalling behaviour" after he drunkenly kicked his own vomit around a holding cell, and was violent towards Chinchilla police officers.

The court heard, Billy James Bawden, was on a suspended sentence at the time of the offence for the dangerous operation of a car, as well as assault causing bodily harm.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Derek Brady said the 20-year-old was under police custody in a holding cell for an unrelated matter on June 30, when he caused damage to police property.

"He was highly intoxicated, aggressive towards police…. the defendant has kicked, punched, and head butted the cell door, wall, also the toilet, repeatedly," Sergeant Brady said.

Sergeant Brady said Bawden was then seen spitting and vomiting on the floor multiple times before kicking it around the cell, and then told police they couldn't keep him inside because it was disgusting.

Appalled by the young man's actions, Magistrate Tracy Mossop said, "I hope they kept him in longer".

Sergeant Brady said police had to clean the vomit up themselves.

Magistrate Mossop asked the community corrections officer if there were any community service programmes that required offenders to clean - to no avail.

Duty lawyer Claire Graham told the court Bawden is currently on probation for multiple crimes.

"(He) received a suspended period of imprisonment on January 31, 2019, for the dangerous operation of a vehicle, and in August 2019, that suspended period of imprisonment was extended by three months, and he received two years of probation in relation to a bodily harm offence," she said.

Born and raised in Chinchilla, Ms Graham said Bawden is in a stable relationship, and currently works for Western Downs Civil on gas fields.

Bawden had struggled with his mental health, Ms Graham said he's now on a mood stabiliser and anti-depressant medication, and is no longer drinking.

"He's incredibly remorseful for his actions, and extended an apology to the police officers involved," she said.

"He does seem to be taking note of his actions and has some insight into what he needs to do to ensure he gets his life back on track."

Ms Graham told the court she thinks it would be unjust to activate a suspended period of imprisonment, and suggested a slight increase to the operational period of Bawden's current bail.

Magistrate Mossop told Bawden his behaviour that night was not normal or civilised and urged the young man to "grow up".

"Quite frankly I would have liked to see you have to clean up your own mess, and somebody else's mess three times over… I can't impose that unfortunately," she said.

"You've breached probation and breached a suspended sentence… I don't think it is unjust to partially activate the suspended sentence, and therefor I am activating 14 days of that period of imprisonment."

Magistrate Mossop said Bawden would be on an immediate parole release date.

Bawden pleaded guilty to causing wilful damage to police property at the Chinchilla Magistrates Court on Thursday, October 15, and was fined $600.

"Your fine (took) into account your young, and stupidity, as well as your previous history… I thought I would go higher, but I discounted it for your plea, and I'm not recording a conviction."

"You can consider yourself really lucky, because quite frankly, I could have and should have - but I haven't."