’You have time to turn your life around’: Court’s warning
A TEENAGER who started a fight in a North Coast shopping centre car park has been told by a magistrate he still has time to turn his life around.
Keegan Mani Hamilton appeared at Tweed Heads Local Court by videolink from custody in Clarence Correctional Centre on Monday.
The 19-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault and charges of assault police, resisting police and using offensive language arising from two separate incidents earlier this year.
The South Murwillumbah teen had caused a commotion at Tweed City Shopping Centre on August 21, while on bail for other offences, when he verbally abused shoppers and pushed a trolley in front of a parking car.
Court documents revealed Hamilton called a centre security guard a "racist white dog" when he was asked to leave and flung another shopping trolley at the guard.
Continuing his abusive tirade, Hamilton put his hand in his back satchel and made the guard believe he was holding something inside like a knife.
A member of the public helped the guard usher Hamilton outside to the parking lot while Hamilton began charging at the pair and then backing off multiple times.
Hamilton spat on the member of the public helping the security guard.
After being arrested, Hamilton threw his pants and hit an officer in the eye after being asked to remove the draw string in the cells.
He continued to abuse police and punched and headbutted the cell.
He was also sentenced for offensive language in public on Macgregor St in Tweed Heads and resisting an officer on October 3.
Defence solicitor Riley Owen said Hamilton had recognised he had anger management issues and regretted his actions.
Mr Riley said his client had a difficult childhood, had experienced alleged physical abuse as a child and was in the process of completing Year 12 at Kingscliff High School when he committed the offences.
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy accepted Hamilton had a difficult upbringing and had gone through significant trauma.
"It does not excuse your actions but it does provide context and lowers your moral culpability, meaning you are probably not as a bad a person as the police facts make out," he said.
"You are still quite young and have time to turn your life around."
Mr Dunlevy convicted Hamilton and gave him three 18-month community correction orders with supervision, for the common assault and assault police charges.
Mr Dunlevy did not further punish Hamilton for resisting police and using offensive language but recorded convictions.
Hamilton was given bail on his remaining matters to reside at Banora Point, not take alcohol or drugs, participate in a men's group and report to the police station daily.
He has also pleaded guilty to two charges of intentionally sexually touching a child after he touched the thigh and buttocks of two 14-year-old girls who were passing him in the street in Tweed Heads in February.
Police facts tendered in court say after being arrested for the charges he spat on his police cell, threatened to assault and kill police and masturbated in the direction of officers.
His case will return to court on January 15.