Man puts cop in headlock, claims he's famous croc hunter

A MAN who claimed to be Aussie outback adventurer Malcolm Douglas has pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court to putting a police officer in a headlock and giving a false name.

Torbanlea man Lee Harbour, not the deceased television show host, appeared in court on Thursday, charged with assault of a police officer and failing to comply with a police order.

The court heard that on January 7 at 11.45pm, police were called to a fight at the Torquay Hotel where Harbour was at the time with some of his mates.

Police prosecutor Donna Sperling said that while a constable was arresting one of the patrons involved in the fight, Harbour put the officer in a headlock.

"This caused the constable to lose his grip on the person he was arresting," Senior Constable Sperling said.

When police asked Harbour what his name was, he twice told them it was Malcolm Douglas William.

"He stated he left his licence in the hotel," the prosecutor said.

The man was later identified as 32-year-old Lee Harbour.

Defence Lawyer Kristy Crabb said her client was making "a bit of a joke" when he told police his name was Malcolm Douglas.

"That's the name of the host from a TV show 'Around Australia with Malcolm Douglas'," Ms Crabb said.

"It was a bit of a joke… my client is remorseful."

Ms Crabb told the court Harbour did not realise he had put a police officer in a headlock, but Snr Const Sperling said the offier had been uniformed, and had identified himself as an officer a number of times.

The defence lawyer said the patron being arrested was Harbour's mate, and her client thought he was "going to his friend's aid".

"Mr Harbour had been drinking for six hours by then," she said.

"He thought his friend was getting hurt and didn't realise it was a police officer."

Magistrate Graeme Tatnell ordered Harbour to complete 50 hours of community service, and fined him $400.

A conviction was not recorded.



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