YouTube defence carries no weight
A LONGREACH publican tried to convince a magistrate he lunged at a police officer for trying to film him for a "YouTube scoop".
Despite Sergeant Ben Holdcroft's efforts to film in the Lyceum Hotel, owner Leigh David McCracken lunged towards him hurling abuse. McCracken pleaded not guilty to obstructing an investigating officer.
Evidence produced in court detailed Sgt Holdcroft asking repeatedly for McCracken to calm down while the 58-year-old swore at Sgt Holdcroft and referred to the Sgt as a "scumbag". McCracken also swore when referring to staff at Liquor Licensing.
McCracken was also recorded threatening to "thump" Sgt Holdcroft.
Sgt Holdcroft attended the Lyceum Hotel just before midnight on April 13 and was attempting to film a large door that was open while music was playing very loudly.
Magistrate Orazio Rinaudo said no reasonable court could be expected to believe McCracken's story that Sgt Holdcroft wanted to film the band for YouTube - particularly after the recording was shown in court.
He fined McCracken $1100, but did not record a conviction.
Mr Rinaudo said McCracken was clearly affected by alcohol at the time and a firm message must be sent to all liquor license holders that behaviour like McCracken's was unacceptable.
His concerns were echoed by Sgt Paul Bennett of the Rockhampton Liquor Enforcement Unit.
Sgt Bennett said all licensees should take note of McCracken's punishment for abusing, hindering, intimidating and attempting to assault an officer.
"Obstructing an investigator is a serious issue and the actions can cause loss of a license," he said.
He added it was completely inappropriate for venue owners or managers to drink alcohol while working.