Man, 21, in court for trying to intimidate an off-duty officer.
Man, 21, in court for trying to intimidate an off-duty officer.

Man tries to scare police officer

SEEKING to settle disputes by intimidating the other party is never a good solution, but when he is a policeman it is bound to end badly.

That’s what 21-year-old Grafton man Christopher Ryan Jones found out when he fronted Grafton Local Court on Monday to answer charges of intimidation with intent to cause fear or mental harm and driving a vehicle with intent to menace.

The charges refer to incidents in November and December last year when Jones threatened off-duty policeman senior constable Daniel Wills.

The first occurred at a Grafton licensed premises on November 21, where Constable Wills noticed Jones starring at him in a manner that he found intimidating.

On December 29, Constable Wills had another encounter with Jones when he was driving towards the Grafton Bridge in South Grafton.

He and his four-month pregnant wife were driving toward the bridge when Jones, in a utility, drove past in the other direction. As he drove past he looked intently into Constable Wills’ car.

Constable Wills crossed the bridge and had turned right into Villiers Street when he noticed Jones’ utility come up quickly behind him and he tailgated Constable Wills for about 120 metres before making a harsh left turn in Powell Street.

Constable Wills continued toward his home, but when he drove into his street, he found Jones had positioned his utility to block access to the street.

He looked at Wills and then made a throat-slitting gesture with his right hand.

Wills spoke to Jones, saying: “Stop right there Chris.”

He moved towards Jones and showed him his police badge with the intention of making an off-duty arrest.

However, Jones poked out his tongue and yelled an obscenity at Wills, then drove off.

Constable Wills went home and reported the incident. Jones was arrested and charged the next day.

In court on Monday, solicitor Greg Coombes said the actions of his client were not an indication of his attitude to the police.

He said the dispute was of a private nature and occurred when Constable Wills was off duty.

“My client has no criminal history. His family is involved in racing boats and cars and he has only two speeding fines on his record,” he said.

“In most respects he has been a pretty sensible kid.”

Mr Coombes said his client had also had dealt with a drug problem and surmised the withdrawal effects he felt might have contributed to his attitude at the time.

When passing his sentence the magistrate noted that the threats were not related to police, but he said the matters of intimidation were enough to scare anybody.

On both charges he imposed an 18-month good behaviour bond and disqualified Jones from driving for 12 months.

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