A Port Macquarie man has been convicted after spitting at hospital staff, fighting in a public place and damaging property.
Nathan Garry Janowski, 23, pleaded guilty to affray, common assault and destroy or damage property, for a series of offences that took place over a six-month period from June 2021 to January 2022.
He was sentenced to seven months jail for the assault, but Magistrate Shaughan McCosker ordered the sentence to be served as a community corrections order and 40 hours of community service due to his willingness of rehabilitation.
In his sentencing remarks on Thursday (August 4) Magistrate McCosker said Janowski was intoxicated at the time of each offence.
"You are a young man who has some issues that have been ongoing, but the elephant in the room is alcohol," he said.
"You and alcohol just cannot mix."
Between 11.45pm on June 5, 2021, and 12.10am on June 6, 2021, Janowski was involved in a fight with a group of people on Annabella Drive, Port Macquarie.
Janowski removed himself from the situation and was sitting in a parked car when it was rammed by a ute, causing extensive damage, the court was told.
A second fight followed on the side of the road, before those who had arrived in the ute left the scene.
Janowski then armed himself with a hammer and garden shears before becoming agitated and damaging a vehicle parked on the street.
The vehicle's owner tried to diffuse the situation before Janowski swung a beer bottle at her, hitting her above the eyebrow and causing a three to five centimetre cut.
Police arrived a short time later.
"The offences all involve some level of violence... " Magistrate McCosker said.
"The affray, where you were involved in what can colloquially be called a street fight... followed by another explosive incident where someone who had nothing to do with the incident, has their motor vehicle damaged by you when armed with a hammer and garden shears.
"Those sorts of matters are significant in the welfare and protection of the community and its property."
Janowski also pleaded guilty to assaulting staff at Port Macquarie Base Hospital on August 11, 2021.
"The assault at the hospital involving spitting is disgraceful," Magistrate McCosker said. "It's those people who are frontline workers who put themselves in harm's way and then are entitled to look to the courts for their protection.
"They have to be protected because of the great dependence the community has on them."
Janowski also pleaded guilty to damaging property at a Port Macquarie residence on January 12, 2022, after he arrived at 6.30pm and began drinking alcohol.
The 23-year-old became hostile and agitated before smashing a window at the house.
In his sentencing remarks, Magistrate McCosker said while all of these offences were committed following the consumption of alcohol, Janowski had displayed strong rehabilitation efforts.
"You're a young man who has your life ahead of you provided you heed the words, not necessarily from me, but from others around you, about your use of alcohol," he said.
"Your efforts for rehabilitation are to be commended."
Magistrate McCosker said Janowski's low to medium risk of re-offending was a factor when handing down the sentence.
"You have one drink and you invite catastrophic consequences. A young fellow like you being sent to prison would also be absolutely catastrophic.
"You have been described as [having] a low to medium risk of re-offending and I think that assessment is accurate while you remain alcohol free."
For the affray and damage to property offences, Janowski has been sentenced to a community corrections order for a period of two years and is subject to the supervision of community corrections at Port Macquarie.
"Where a person assaults hospital staff, they must expect that any court will consider the potential for a term in prison," Magistrate McCosker said.
"That being the case, your age and the fact that you've never gone to prison before needs to be factored into that, as well and your commitment to your rehabilitation.
"On the assault matter, I impose a period of seven months imprisonment, however I order that seven month period to be served by way of intensive corrections order in the community and 40 hours of community service work."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.