Paragraph one reads: “A man who singed a police officer’s eyelashes during a rampage on a busy Brisbane highway has avoided jail time after pleading guilty to his crimes.”
Paragraphs eleven & twelve read: “The court heard he had suffered from anxiety and depression, and had changed medication two weeks before the incident.”
“He has since changed his medication again and sought help.”
Highway rampage man singed cop’s face
A man who singed a police officer’s eyelashes during a rampage on a busy Brisbane highway has avoided jail time after pleading guilty to his crimes.
Benjamin Westley Irwin, 32, admitted in the District Court in Brisbane on Thursday to the dangerous operation of a vehicle, common assault and serious assault.
The court heard the ruckus started after an argument with his girlfriend as they drove on the Centenary Highway at Richlands at about 8pm (AEST) on September 9 last year.
While in the passenger seat, Irwin pulled up the park brake, bringing the car to an abrupt halt on a lane closed for maintenance.
Approached by a traffic warden, Irwin became aggressive.
He got out of the car, ranting and raving, took off his shirt and confronted the warden as if he wanted to fight, crown prosecutor Vicki Loury told the court.
When backup was called, Irwin tried to punch a second warden and tried to burn him with a cigarette lighter.
He then ran in and out of the oncoming traffic, and began bashing the bonnet of a Jeep Wrangler that had stopped.
When police arrived, Irwin flicked two cigarette lighters at the face of a senior sergeant, singeing his eyelashes.
Irwin was eventually restrained and charged.
The court heard he had suffered from anxiety and depression, and had changed medication two weeks before the incident.
He has since changed is medication again and sought help.
During sentencing, Judge Julie Dick was critical of Irwin for attacking people who were just doing their job, but added she understood he wasn’t coping with his mental condition.
“These people are just working, they’re doing a serious job and they certainly don’t need to be confronted by people carrying on like you did,” she said.
“It is clear that something was happening in your mental state at the time.”
Judge Dick sentenced Irwin to a nine-month, wholly suspended jail term.
� 2010 AAP