Leigh David Slegers, 19, pleaded guilty on Friday in Ipswich District Court to three offences.
Leigh David Slegers, 19, pleaded guilty on Friday in Ipswich District Court to three offences. David Nielsen

Grub who spat in officer’s face jailed

A MAN infected with Hepatitis C who spat in a police officer's mouth and eyes will spend the next six months behind bars.

Benjamin Daniel Kool, 26, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in Ipswich District Court to serious assault of a police officer on June 14, 2015 at Camira.

He also pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery of a service station on December 22, 2015 at Booval while high on cannabis.

The court heard Kool had a lengthy criminal history including offences of armed robbery, dishonesty and unlawful wounding.

Until now he had always been given the benefit of suspended sentences or probation.

Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso said police were called to Kool's parents' home after reports of a woman urinating on the front porch and causing a disturbance.

She said police were looking around the property when they noticed some cannabis plants growing in the garden.

"The police arrested Kool's 14-year-old brother and Kool became agitated and aggressive," she said.

"Kool was abusing police and was warned not to interfere but without warning he walked up to a male officer and kneed him in the groin.

"He then spat in the officer's face with spittle actually entering his mouth and eyes."

Ms Kelso told the court the officer was taken to hospital in excruciating pain and had to endure a six-month wait to ensure he had not contracted any disease.

She said the officer's personal life was turned upside down as he had to be extremely careful with his bodily fluids around his wife and newborn child.

Ms Kelso said the attempted robbery occurred after Kool walked into the United service station, picked up two bottles of Coke and simply walked out.

She said Kool returned several minutes later wearing a bike helmet and demanded money from the attendant.

"The attendant refused to give him the money and pressed a duress alarm," she said.

"Kool saw this happen and fled the service station on his scooter."

Ms Kelso said Kool was arrested months later after police released a CCTV image (pictured) to the media and received an anonymous tip-off.

Defence barrister Geoff Seaholme said it was no surprise looking at his criminal history to suggest he struggled with alcohol and drugs. He said the attempted robbery of the service station was an opportunistic offence but Kool admitted his actions towards the officer were disgusting.

"It is inevitable that he has to serve actual time in custody," he said. "It is his decisions alone which will ultimately cost him his freedom."

Judge Greg Koppenol was scathing in sentencing Kool to 18 months behind bars.

He said Kool's actions were appalling and the community would have a right to be outraged. Judge Koppenol sentenced Kool to 18 months behind bars but ordered he be released from jail on September 1, 2016.


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