CBD cafe owner assaulted by alcoholic serial-attacker

A ROCKHAMPTON cafe owner was assaulted by an angry alcoholic as he tried to close up shop on Wednesday afternoon.

Hugh Ross Williams, 65, pleaded guilty yesterday in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one assault charge, along with two counts of public nuisance, one obstructing police, one remain unlawfully in a business premise, and one fail to appear in court.

Police prosecutor Shayne Studdert said Williams approached the Blue Leaf Cafe in the Kern Arcade plaza at 3.50pm and asked for food.

He said the owner had already cleared away the food cabinets and had one roller door shut.

When Williams was told there was no food, he launched into an angry tirade of abuse and made threats towards the cafe owner.

Mr Studdert said the owner, fearing Williams would jump the counter, moved out of the cafe to try and calm him down.

He said Williams then pushed the man, but did not cause him any injuries. Police arrested Williams at 4.05pm.

The other charges were from an incident at an Alma St diversion centre where Williams had been staying on September 2.

The court heard Williams was standing in the entrance to the dormitory when he became hostile towards a staff member, kicking towards their legs twice.

He was told he was no longer allowed to stay, but he ignored that direction and laid down on one of the beds where police found him when they arrived at 7.40pm.

Mr Studdert said Williams yelled abuse at police, and it was so loud, people in the foyer could hear.

As one of the officers escorted him from the building, with one hand grasping one of Williams' arms, Williams tried to pull away from police yelling "get your hands off me".

When he was instructed to place his hands on the police vehicle for a search, Williams "violently banged" his hands on the car.

Williams was placed in handcuffs and taken to the watchhouse.

Mr Studdert said Williams' breath smelt of cask wine, his eyes were glassy, and he was unsteady on his feet.

Defence lawyer Miguel Ramirez said Williams was a grandfather who had worked in a steel mill before becoming a pensioner.

"I have been advised he has sought help (for alcoholism) in the past," he said.

William was sentenced in August 2004 for punching a South Australian tourist in the face multiple times as the tourist was eating his lunch on the riverbank in July 2004 and then kicking him in the ribs at least three times.

Magistrate Philippa Beckinsale commented on Williams' 19-page criminal history, which included a sentence in February 2017 for a cluster of charges like those before the court this week.

"If you don't stop drinking, you are going to keep offending," she said.

"You shouldn't be living like this."

Mrs Beckinsale ordered Williams to a head sentence of a one month prison term with parole yesterday.

However he remains in custody as the suspended sentence handed down last year was also activated.



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