GATHERING PLACE: Airlie Beach's Safe Night Precinct.
GATHERING PLACE: Airlie Beach's Safe Night Precinct. Jessica Lamb

Repeat SNP offender ignores court order

A HAMILTON Island labourer caught contravening a Safe Night Precinct licensed-premises ban for the third time since February has blamed his problem drinking on psychological scars from witnessing a murder in Victoria.

Lucas Andrew Charleston pleaded guilty in Proserpine Magistrates Court on Monday to contravening a banning notice, public nuisance and obstructing a police officer.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Hannah Beard said Charleston continued to swear and yell after police intervened in a heated argument in the SNP at 1.35am on April 15.

Although the court heard the 20-year-old was allowed to leave the scene at the time, CCTV footage revealed Charleston had entered Magnums Hotel earlier, before their ID scanners were in operation.

On April 22 a drunk Charleston resisted arrest after being found lying on the footpath in the SNP.

"He had been refused entry to two licensed premises because of his court-ordered banning order,” Sen Const Beard said.

Duty lawyer Elizabeth Smith said Charleston had been in the area for 12 months after moving up from Victoria.

"He instructs me on April 15 ... the other person involved was the aggressor and tried to king hit him,” Ms Smith said.

"The second week, he has very little recollection of the incident. He was grossly intoxicated at the time and had trouble even standing, he accepts he should not have been in the area.”

Ms Smith said Charleston had shown insight into his offending and was seeing ATODS and a counsellor to help his problem drinking.

"He instructs me he had some trauma in Victoria, he was key crown witness in a murder trial when he was younger,” Ms Smith said.

"He had some substance abuse issues for some time. He instructs me he is off drugs completely and he is using alcohol as a crutch.”

Magistrate Simon Young said Charleston had not yet had the benefit of probation and support through intervention when he chose to impose a probation and community service order over a suspended sentence.

Charleston must complete 60 hours of community service in nine months in conjunction with nine months' probation.

No convictions were recorded.


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