A magistrate has issued a warrant for the arrest of a Maroubra man who police allege spat at and headbutted a female officer after failing to leave Maroubra Beach at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Andrew Merryfull, 30, from Maroubra, was set to fight two serious charges including assault police officer cause actual bodily harm during a hearing at Waverley Local Court on Monday, which he previously pleaded not guilty to.
However, Merryfull was a no show, prompting his lawyer to tell the court he may have suffered “a misadventure” and was not answering his phone.
Magistrate Ross Hudson was not impressed and issued a warrant for his arrest.
“There are no compelling reasons for an adjournment to be granted and the application (for an adjournment) is formally refused.”
Magistrate Hudson stated Merryfull was facing serious allegations which included his allegedly spitting on a female police officer and headbutting her in the mouth causing a cut to her lip on March 30 last year.
The agreed facts stated he had earlier gone for a swim with a woman at Maroubra Beach, despite the beach being closed, and verbally abused lifeguards who told him to leave due to COVID restrictions.
Police were called and caught up with him on nearby Mons Ave where he allegedly resisted arrest and assaulted the female officer.
The agreed facts stated Merryfull was “acting in a care free and jovial manner in custody” after his arrest and showed no remorse at the time.
He has been on bail since March 31 last year and pleaded guilty last year to two lesser charges of behave in offensive manner in or near public place and fail to comply with terms of notice erected by council.
He was convicted in his absence on those two counts on Monday and fined $1000.
The alleged incident in March last year prompted NSW Police Minister David Elliott to release a statement stating he’d had a “gutful” of hearing about allegations of assaults on police on the frontline during the pandemic.
Maroubra man accused of headbutt on officer in court
By Gary Hamilton-Irvine on July 30, 2020
A man who police allege headbutted and injured a female officer after failing to leave Maroubra Beach when it was closed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic has appeared back in court and intends to fight the serious allegation.
Andrew Merryfull, 30, from Maroubra, and a woman, 19, allegedly ignored closure signs at Maroubra Beach on March 30.
Police allege he verbally abused lifeguards who asked them to leave and reminded the pair of the government’s social distancing guidelines.
Officers were called to the scene and allegedly found Merryfull and the woman on nearby Mons Ave, before a scuffle broke out as they tried to arrest him.
It is alleged he assaulted a female officer causing a cut to her lip and swelling. Police allege he also spat at the officer.
The incident prompted NSW Police Minister David Elliott to release a statement saying he’d had a “gutful” of hearing about allegations of cowardly assaults on police on the frontline during the pandemic.
Merryfull, who was granted bail in March, appeared in Waverley Local Court on Wednesday.
He maintained his not guilty pleas for assault police officer in execution of duty cause actual bodily harm and resist officer in execution of duty.
However, he pleaded guilty to two lesser charges of behave in offensive manner in or near public place and fail to comply with terms of notice erected by council.
Merryfull will appear back in court in March 2021 for hearing. He remains on bail.
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