HEATED: Hewan Geoffrey Sampson, 23, pleaded guilty to seriously assaulting a police officer.
HEATED: Hewan Geoffrey Sampson, 23, pleaded guilty to seriously assaulting a police officer. Ross Irby

Christmas Day headbutt floors sergeant

GRABBED in a bear-hug by a senior police officer who he had known for years, Hewan Sampson inexplicably reared his head and headbutted the sergeant.

The blow left the police officer reeling with a painful injury to his left eye socket.

Sampson was being evicted from his local hotel when celebrating Christmas with family in Toogoolawah.

The nasty assault earned him a jail term after he appeared in Ipswich Magistrates Court.

Watched by his family, Hewan Geoffrey Sampson, 23, pleaded guilty to seriously assaulting Sergeant John Cumner at the Toogoolawah Hotel on December 15.

Prosecutor, Sergeant Paul Caldwell said locals were celebrating Christmas when security tried to remove a man.

Sgt Cumner and a Rosewood police colleague entered the hotel at 79 Cressbrook St.

Sgt Cumner identified himself as a police officer and recognised Sampson, telling him to leave the pub because Sampson was drunk.

Sampson was seen to pull an arm back to throw a punch at a security guard and Sgt Cumner restrained him in a bear hug, saying "Hewan, it's me".

Police allege Sampson recognised the officer but then "cocked his head and forcibly headbutted Sgt Cumner in his face".

Sampson was given an informal breath test, returning an alcohol reading of .081.

The injured officer was taken to hospital with bruising and swelling to the left eye. There was no fracture but the court heard he had to take time off work.

Defence lawyer Kristy Bell said she had a written apology and a $1000 cheque from Sampson for Sgt Cumner as compensation for his pain and suffering.

She said he now worked and lived in Mackay and expressed genuine remorse for his act.

Ms Bell said prior to the assault a woman had thrown a glass at Sampson during a family function. She punched him in the face and security was involved.

She put forward references for Sampson including one from the hotel owner.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum told Sampson he had committed a serious offence.

"It is serious. They are out there doing their public duties and don't deserve to be beaten up by people affected by alcohol, drugs, or who are angry," Ms MacCallum said.

"It was deliberate headbutting and he suffered injuries."

Ms MacCallum told Sampson he would have been angry if he was assaulted at work.

He was convicted and sentenced to eight months' jail.

The jail term suspended for 18 months.


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