French surfer walks free after drunken holster snatch
A French surfer who assaulted a police officer and grabbed at another's gun holster while in a "seriously intoxicated state" has narrowly escaped jail time.
Nathan Marin Pages, 29, became violent towards two police officers on April 14 in Noosa Heads after they had charged him with driving under the influence of liquor.
Pages pleaded guilty in Noosa Magistrates Court on Tuesday to two counts of serious assault of a police officer while adversely affected in a public place and driving while under the influence.
Police prosecutor Alison Johnstone said the police officers had offered to take the man to a place of safety after processing his drink driving charge when he started grabbing at the gun holster and attempted to punch a police officer.
Seargent Johnstone said officers had put Pages in the police pod when he kicked the door, causing it to hit the officer.
"Grabbing at a police officer's holster is not common but it is very serious if that firearm had been removed from the holster it could have been potentially a very different scenario today," she said.
"We say that violence displayed towards police is all too prevalent and … such conduct needs to be appropriately punished.
"All people, local, from interstate and international need to know that this isn't a place where people can come and assault our police officers."
The police officer who was hit by the door later experienced minor arm pain and discomfort whereas the other police officer sustained a minor injury to their finger.
Seargent Johnstone said a sentence of nine months to serve one third with parole was an appropriate punishment.
She also asked for compensation for both officers.
Solicitor Jane Bruxner said Pages, who was residing in a local hostel, had shared two bottles of rose wine and could not recall the incident.
She said the surfing instructor was "incredibly remorseful" and had visited the Noosa Police Station to apologise to the officers on several occasions.
The court heard Pages was in a "very difficult" financial situation due to COVID-19 and was planning on returning home to France with his girlfriend of two years.
"He has specifically stayed in the country as a result of this ongoing court matter which I say goes to his character," Ms Bruxner said.
"He is very eager and willing to take the responsibility he should take for what transpired on that night."
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist said Pages' level of intoxication and violent actions towards the police officers, who were going to look after him, made for a "serious situation".
Pages was sentenced to nine months in prison which was suspended for 18 months.
He was also fined $800 and disqualified from driving for nine months for driving under the influence.
No compensation was ordered for the police.