AN APOLOGY letter was the only punishment handed down on a Launceston man who punched a police officer outside a Prospect hotel earlier this year.
Nanjing Night Net

The 25-year-old man pleaded guilty in the Launceston Magistrates Court this month to assaulting a police officer, resisting a police officer, failing to comply with the directions of a police officer and possessing alcohol in a public place.

Magistrate Reg Marron ordered him to provide a written apology to the police office involved.

Police Association president Randolph Wierenga said to demand an apology as the only sentence was “pathetic”.

“To assault a police officer and only have to sign the bottom of a letter . . . the sentence is pathetic,” Sergeant Wierenga said.

“This sends entirely the wrong message to people in society who choose to assault our members.”

The assault occurred outside the Olde Tudor Motor Inn on January 19.

Sergeant Wierenga said the male police officer only received slight injuries from the drunken man.

He said the sentence showed that the court did not consider the assault of a police officer a serious matter.

The association is campaigning for mandatory minimum sentences of 12 months’ jail for people convicted of assaulting police or an emergency service worker.

“It’s difficult enough for police in volatile situations such as this, and to have this slight a sentence for the assault of a police officer is really a slap in the face to police out there trying to keep the streets safe,” Sergeant Wierenga said.

“It seems to assume that being assaulted is all part and parcel of the job,” he said.

He said police did not charge people with assault for trivial altercations.

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