Sempill Crescent gathering turns ugly

Sergeant Anthony Smith

Sergeant Anthony Smith

Two men who assaulted a police officer at an out of control party in Walcha earlier this year are now serving time in jail.

Scott Nigel Strong, a 46-year-old Walcha man, was convicted in Armidale Local Court on September 18 and sentenced by Magistrate Karen Stafford to 10 months jail for assaulting a police officer during the execution of his duty and resisting arrest.

Ernest Powell was charged with affray and two counts of assaulting a police officer. The 24-year-old Walcha man pleaded not guilty, and the matter went to hearing in Armidale Local Court where he was found guilty and sentenced to serve a 15-month jail term.

Previously, Jason Herbert Naylor pleaded guilty to affray, assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest and he was convicted in Walcha Court on February 21, placed on a two-year good behaviour bond  and sentenced to serve one month in jail.

Sergeant Anthony Smith said that at around 10pm on Friday, January 27, police were called to a residence in Sempill Crescent concerning a disturbance due to the behaviour of one particular youth who was highly intoxicated and behaving aggressively.

It was alleged that during the arrest of the youth he became violent and both he and Sergeant Smith tripped and fell in front of the house.  While the youth and police were wrestling on the lawn, Strong approached from behind and punched Sergeant Smith twice in the face with a closed fist.

Police were eventually able to move the youth from the front yard to the police van during which time Strong allegedly punched Sergeant Smith twice more in the head.

Sergeant Smith was then further assaulted by another offender while placing the youth in the rear of the police truck and as a result of this fifth punch lost his grip on the youth who escaped into the house.

Sergeant Smith arrested Strong while searching the house and took him back to Walcha Police Station. Later that evening police returned to the residence to arrest the youth and the man who inflicted the fifth punch on Sergeant Smith. While police were affecting these arrests, Powell and Naylor allegedly assaulted them.

The youth, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, has been charged and convicted. An Inverell man has been charged but failed to show at court to answer his charges and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.