South Lismore's James Millington is accused of assaulting the police officer and a security guard.
South Lismore's James Millington is accused of assaulting the police officer and a security guard.

Cop’s ear bitten after Christmas party, court hears

A SOUTH Lismore man charged with biting a police officer on the ear causing significant injury has been released on bail.

James Millington, 40, was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, affray, intimidating police, resisting police, assaulting police and destroying or damaging property.

Police will allege Mr Millington assaulted a 71-year-old security guard and several off-duty police officers while he was heavily intoxicated at a licensed premise on Keen St, Lismore in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Mr Millington allegedly assaulted the security guard by punching him in the mouth when asked to leave the dancefloor of the establishment.

Police will allege he then grabbed an off-duty senior constable, who was assisting the security guard, in a headlock before biting him on the top of the ear.

Other off-duty officers were also there to assist.

The injured police officer was taken to Lismore Base Hospital to treat the significant injury to his ear.

Mr Millington's solicitor, Tracey Randall, told Lismore Local Court on Wednesday she had viewed the CCTV footage of the alleged incident and would be making an application for bail on her client's behalf.

Ms Randall said her client did not display any reason as to why he was asked to leave the dancefloor.

"I've viewed the video, I can't see the behaviour that's described as causing other patrons concern, clearly there's about six off duty police officers in that scene," Ms Randall said.

"(Mr Millington) accepts that he was heavily intoxicated, he'd been to his office Christmas party.

"He was dancing and intoxicated but there were a number of people who were intoxicated."

But the police prosecutor argued the CCTV footage highlighted the "convoluted situation" that unfolds before the police officer is assaulted.

The police prosecutor objected to the bail application because of concern Mr Millington would not appear before court if released because of previous history.

"He'd assaulted a number of people, he was not in control of his own actions and would be a threat to the community if released," he said.

The police prosecutor asked the court that if bail was granted Mr Millington be put under a 24-hour house arrest and be subject to wearing an ankle monitor and random alcohol and drug testing.

But Magistrate Robyn Denes said those bail conditions would be "over the top" for a matter such as Mr Millington's and only available for the "most serious type of offenders".

Ms Denes approved Mr Millington's bail with the conditions he report to Lismore Police station daily, have a curfew from 8pm to 5am and can only leave his South Lismore home between those hours if accompanied by his mother or brother.

He must also refrain from alcohol and drugs use unless prescribed by a doctor and must submit to random alcohol and drug testing on reasonable grounds.

Ms Denes told Mr Millington, who was appearing on audio visual link, that he needed to adhere to the strict bail conditions unless he wished to return to court.

She warned him that police "will be watching" him to make sure he doesn't step out of line.

"It's not called the silly season for nothing, it is a time of year where people drink too much," Ms Denes said.

Lismore Local Court will not be sitting for two weeks.

The matter was adjourned to February 26.


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