An Ocean Shores man drunkenly attacked a Byron Central Hospital worker earlier this year.Photo Contributed
An Ocean Shores man drunkenly attacked a Byron Central Hospital worker earlier this year.Photo Contributed

North Coast hospital worker ‘absolutely flattened’ in attack

A COURT has been told a 37-year-old chronic alcohol abuser "absolutely flattened" a Byron Central Hospital staff member he attacked.

James Edward Harvey appeared in Tweed Heads Local Court by videolink from custody on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to three counts of contravening an apprehended violence order and common assault.

The Ocean Shores man was found lying on the footpath outside of the mental health unit after being released from Byron Central Hospital a short time earlier on April 23.

A hospital health and security assistant tried to rouse him and get him to move on.

The man became aggressive and when the staff member said he was going inside to call police, Harvey hit him in the head from behind causing the staff member to fall over.

Harvey continued to try to hit and kick the staff member on the floor, who managed to get up before more staff intervened.

In a follow up interview, the man told police he "absolutely flattened" the staff member by shoulder charging him from behind.

During a compliance check on May 25, police found the Ocean Shores man drinking Coopers beer at his home breaking one of his bail conditions not to consume alcohol.

On June 30, police arrived at the New Brighton farmers market in New Brighton to reports of the man unconscious and heavily intoxicated about 8.40am.

On October 2, the man was found by a member of the public passed out near Tweed City Shopping Centre in Tweed Heads South.

Police found him to be seriously affected by liquor and going in and out of consciousness.

He drank an entire bottle of vodka and was consuming oz-guard hand sanitiser at the scene when police arrived.

It breached his bail to drink or take drugs and not remain at the rehab facility until his court date on October 6.

Defence solicitor Vince Boss said all his client's issues were alcohol related and his life had spiralled out of control in the last six months.

Mr Vince said the man had a close friend die in the last eight weeks and lost another friend to suicide last year.

Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy took into account the man's limited criminal history, significant problem with alcohol and the fact he appeared to live a "law abiding, appropriate and stable" life when not drinking.

The man was convicted and received a Community Correction Order for a period of 18 months for each of the contravene charges and a two year a Community Correction Order for common assault charge.


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