No appeal against Queenscliff Brewhouse brawler Glenn Main's sentence

Published by Geelong Advertiser on 4 September 2019.

A THUG found guilty of bashing a police officer will walk away with a fine and con­viction after state prosecutors decided not to appeal his ­punishment.

Glenn Main, 60, was fined $5000 in July for his part in a violent brawl at the Queens­cliff Brewhouse that left a male police officer with concussion and a torn shoulder. Prosecutors had pushed for a jail term.

Police Association of Victoria secretary Wayne Gatt said laws needed to reflect community sentiment and the will of the parliament.

“Even the untrained ­observer can see that there is a disjoint between what our community says should happen to someone who assaults an emergency worker and what actually does happen,” Mr Gatt said.

“It was very clear that our members were disappointed with (Main’s) original sentence and it follows that they are equally disappointed with the subsequent decision not to ­appeal that sentence.”

He said the association was discussing with Government over laws diminishing culpability for those who attack emergency workers in a group.

“Reliance on this leaves emergency workers exposed to attacks by multiple people on the streets, with reduced punitive recourse for offenders,” he said.

Laws aimed at jailing those who assault emergency workers are set to again be tested later this year when two cases involving police assaults in Geelong come before the courts.

In a brief statement, the ­Office of Public Prosecutions said: “The director carefully considered (the Main) matter and decided not to lodge an ­appeal against the sentence imposed by the Geelong Magistrates’ Court on July 22.”

The decision follows a magistrate’s ruling last week not to jail James Haberfield for assaulting two paramedics, and Amanda Warren and Caris Underwood avoiding jail last year for bashing another paramedic.

In the wake of the Haberfield decision, a parliamentary working group aimed at bolstering laws surrounding emergency worker assaults met on Friday.

It is expected the group ­including emergency service union figures will examine how loopholes can be closed.

Last year the State Government passed laws that required those who attack or injure emergency workers to be jailed but those laws relate to ­offences committed after ­October 28 last year.

The laws also prevent alco­hol or drug impairment being used as a defence for those who are accused of assaulting emergency workers.

Main, 60, was found guilty of recklessly causing injury to police officers and affray following the “chaotic melee” on August 25 last year.