Courtroom witnesses saw a man punch a female police officer.
Courtroom witnesses saw a man punch a female police officer.

COURTROOM DRAMA: Man punches female police officer

A MAN today responded to being denied bail by verbally abusing court staff and police, and punching a female police officer in the head while locked in the courtroom dock.

Clifford Andrew Sabin, 55, was denied bail in Rockhampton Magistrates Court this morning after being charged with enter premises and commit indictable offence, enter premises with intent and obstruct police.

Magistrate Jason Schubert said Mr Sabin was on bail at the time of the alleged enter premises offences for other charges including serious assault on a corrective services officer.

After Mr Schubert denied Mr Sabin bail, Mr Sabin cried “f---ing dogs” and put his hands up to his face in a manner that suggested he was crying.

One of the female officers tried to coax Mr Sabin out of the dock but he refused to go with the two female police officers who had escorted him from the watch house to the courtroom for the bail application.

“Let go, you f---ing b----,” Mr Sabin said a second before he punched one of the female police officers locked inside the dock with him.

Rockhampton Court. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Rockhampton Court. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

The incident was witnessed by nine people in the courtroom including police prosecutor Clancy Fox, defence lawyer Samantha Legrady, a police volunteer helper, The Morning Bulletin journalist Kerri-Anne Mesner and a woman in the back of the courtroom waiting for another matter to be heard.

The force of the punch left the female in immediate pain and she continued to clutch the side of her face throughout the rest of the ordeal.

Mr Schubert told Mr Sabin to sit down after Mr Sabin punched the officer.

“No, f--- you, white c---s,” he responded.

Mr Sabin then ripped a microphone and cables out of the dock wall and swung it at the two female officers, striking them with it.

The two officers slowly retreated out of the dock through the door leading to the lifts to the watch-house.

Meanwhile, others in the courtroom made calls for assistance for the female officers.

Mr Sabin held closed the door between himself in the dock and the hallway to the lifts, whacking anyone with the microphone cable when they tried reach him through a gap in the door.

Two male police officers entered the dock through the door and restrained Mr Sabin, who continued to thrash his arms around at officers.

Mr Sabin has today been charged with three counts of serious assault of a police officer and one count each of wilful damage and assault occasioning bodily harm.

He is due to appear in Rockhampton Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Rockhampton Courthouse.
Rockhampton Courthouse.

His other matters – the enter premises and obstruct police charges – were adjourned until November 11.

Mr Schubert said Mr Sabin was accused of an opportunistic enter premises offence at Fitzroy Motor Inn on October 21, taking a key from a trolley and accessing a room with it where he stole $200-$300 cash.

He said the second enter premises allegations involved a different motel where Mr Sabin allegedly loitered at the side of the premises before entering the back door of a dwelling where he was confronted by someone yelling at him and Mr Sabin allegedly telling them he was “just looking for a toilet”.

Mr Fox said Sabin had 23 enter premises convictions on his criminal record which was 10-pages long.