Warwick father lectured on caring for toddler
A MAN who was drunkenly yelling and swearing during a street disturbance on Palmerin and Percy Sts has been lectured by a magistrate to get off the grog, and start thinking about his toddler.
Nicholas Andrew Hayes said his son was being babysat when he got drunk with a friend and started arguing with a group of people on a footpath.
He caused such a disturbance several nearby residents called 000.
When police attended his home that night on February 13 and arrested his friend, the 34-year-old single father approached the police car yelling "Call DOCs man, f*** her".
In Warwick Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Magistrate Robert Walker was quick to turn the subject to the child.
"Did you have the welfare of your two-year-old in mind (during the disturbance)?" Mr Walker asked.
"He was babysat," Hayes said.
"I don't care where he was, did you have his welfare in mind?" Mr Walker asked again.
"Well I wasn't thinking," Hayes replied.
The Warwick man pleaded guilty to the public nuisance charge and when posed with the possibility of probation, the arguing between magistrate and offender started again.
"If that's the best out of the offers I'm going to get, I haven't got a choice," Hayes said.
"But I'm moving to Julia Creek in a week."
Mr Walker said he had to assume Mr Hayes wasn't going to consent, given the offender admitted to finding probation difficult to comply with, given the remote location.
"I've had a public nuisance fine before," Hayes suggested.
Mr Walker looked up and leaned back in his chair.
"You're asking for a fine?" Mr Walker asked. .
"A fine or a six months' behaviour bond.... I didn't expect anything," Hayes said.
Mr Walker noted that a lack of consent on Hayes' part would give him no option but to order a jail term, something that would leave the toddler without a father for a period of time.
"'You've got a two-year-old child who you seem to have distant in your mind in terms of priorities," Mr Walker said.
Eventually, after being asked for the fourth time if he would consent to a probation order, Hayes agreed. The single father was sentenced to 18 months' probation and a conviction was recorded.