Hep C risk for Bundaberg bar staff

A MAN with hepatitis C spat in the face of a bar worker as pub staff tried to remove him from the premises, Bundaberg Magistrates Court was told yesterday.

Michael Frederick Walker, of Avoca, was denied bail and did not enter a plea to two charges of common assault, and one each of assaulting police, obstructing police and causing a public nuisance.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Robyn Shapcott said when police arrived at the Sugarland Tavern on Thursday afternoon, Walker was being restrained by staff after causing a disturbance.

“Prior to police arriving, Walker had spat in a staff member’s face, causing blood and saliva to run down her face,” she said.

“Walker knew he was hepatitis C positive and, during the course of this incident, he full well knew he risked transmitting the disease.”

Sgt Shapcott said when being treated for injuries at the watchhouse — including scratches to his face during the struggle at the tavern — Walker had begun to clench his fists and tried to move past the officers.

“Police were unable to treat him for his injuries, as they were concerned he would tried to escape,” she said.

Defence lawyer Thomas Bray said Walker did attribute some of his actions to consumption of alcohol.

“He has been undertaking courses to help him deal with this problem,” he said.

Mr Bray said his client was on probation at the moment but was not a risk of fleeing, as he had been living in Bundaberg for the past 10 years.

“He resides with his parents and is willing to report and has a stable address,” he said.

Magistrate Jennifer Batts refused Walker bail.

“This is a serious breach of his probation and I do consider him an unacceptable risk to reoffend,” she said.

After his bail was refused, Walker tried to leave the witness dock and enter the main courtroom by opening the dock door.

Sgt Shapcott and police present in court took him into custody before he was able to step through the door.

Walker will reappear in court on November 2.

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