Damien Hooper awaits sentencing over assault on police
CONTROVERSIAL boxer Damien Hooper faces an anxious wait while a court decides whether assaulting a police officer warrants a stint behind bars.
Hooper was due to be sentenced today over the offence, stemming from an incident outside a Dalby nightclub last year, but the matter was once again adjourned so the judge could take time to consider what sentence to impose.
It is the fifth time in as many months Hooper's sentencing has been adjourned.
He will now be sentenced on August 15.
Crown Prosecutor Michael Connolly told the Brisbane District Court that Hooper, 22, who represented Australia at the London Olympics, was arrested during the early hours of January 6 last year outside the Oasis Nightclub in Dalby.
He said while he was being arrested he turned his head and spat in a police officer's eye.
"When police asked him if he had any diseases he said I hope I f***ing do and I hope I infect the f***er," he said.
"This offending was premeditated and calculated.
"The police officer endured a wait of more than six months until he was given the all-clear medically.
"There is no excuse for his actions against a police officer who was only going about his duty."
Mr Connolly told the court about Hopper's extensive juvenile history, which is now allowed after changes to the legislation earlier this year, which involved five pages of criminal and traffic offences.
The court was told Hooper had convictions for assault, assault police, stealing, public nuisance, grievous bodily harm, exposing his genitals and urininating in public.
Defence barrister Wayne Toltom told the court Hooper was not a first offender, but he was a youthful offender, which the court must take into consideration.
He said Hooper was not in a position to dispute the facts because he was intoxicated and on antibiotics at the time of the offence.
"In the lead-up to this event his cousin was killed in an industrial accident which had a very devastating affect on him," he said.
"He told me he went out that night to drink himself to death."
Mr Toltom told the court Hooper was a gifted athlete who had apparently turned his life around since this incident.
He presented the court with a number of glowing references on Hooper's behalf from indigenous community leaders.
"He is by far the most accomplished amateur boxer Australia has ever produced," he said.
"He is an elite level athlete who travels the world plying his craft.
"He recently signed with the UK-based Hatton Promotions to help take his career to the next level."
Judge Kerry O'Brien said he wanted more time to consider what punishment to impose and adjourned the sentencing hearing until August 15 at 12pm.