Police basher avoids prison
A YOUNG Pottsville man narrowly avoided jail yesterday for an unprovoked king-hit on a police officer.
The Tweed Heads Local Court heard how a crowd of people in the Pottsville CBD watched as Brendon Bartrim violently struggled with two police officers on the afternoon of July 30.
Punches were exchanged in the fierce confrontation before two officers wrestled Bartrim to the ground and finally subdued him with two doses of capsicum spray and handcuffs.
Bartrim, 22, yesterday pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting police and one count of resisting arrest.
Magistrate Jeff Linden said Bartrim had "king-hit" the officer for no reason whatsover and sentenced him to a 12-month suspended prison sentence, with conditions of good behaviour and probation.
According to police, the Kingscliff officers were on their way to a noise complaint in Pottsville at 5.35pm when they noticed smashed glass on the road on Coronation Drive.
A crowd was watching a small white car parked on the side of the road.
Police approached and saw Bartrim in the driver's seat speaking to his girlfriend in the passenger's seat. A police officer asked Bartim what had happened to his car's window.
Bartrim told him to "mind his own business" and said the glass was already there when he got there.
Police saw fragments of glass on the driver's side door of the car and Bartrim was told to wind his window up to prove the glass wasn't his.
Bartrim turned from the police officer and yelled at the girl next to him. One of the officers got out of the police four-wheel-drive, left the door open and stood next to Bartrim's car. Bartrim opened the door of his car to get out and in the process, hit the door of the police car.
"Watch the door mate," the officer said.
Then, without warning, Bartim turned around and king-hit the officer.
Bartrim then "shaped up" and threw more punches at the officer's head.
The officer then started throwing punches at Bartrim in self-defence.
The second officer moved to restrain Bartrim from behind, but got elbowed in the face.
Bartrim was swearing at the officers to let him go and all three fell to the ground.
A wrestle continued for a number of minutes and when Bartrim refused to stop, he was sprayed in the face with capsicum spray.
The police officers injuries included abrasions, bruising to the left ear and cheek, bloodied nose, some neck, some lower back, grazes to right knee and abrasions to knuckles.
Bartrim's solicitor, Cameron Bell, said his client had sought medical help about his anger issues since the fight and wanted to apologise to the officers involved.