Goldfields car park accused says he ‘didn’t bash no-one’
A Southside man's plea of guilty to being a public nuisance was rejected by the Gympie court yesterday after he denied physically attacking a woman, saying he thought he hit her car with his head instead.
James Edward Shipp faced the court by video on Monday morning following an alleged incident in the Goldfield's Plaza car park on the night of January 4.
The court heard police were called to the shopping centre at 8.10pm after staff reported a man had been acting "erratically", running through the centre and later allegedly assaulting a woman in the carpark.
By the time officers arrived the woman had driven away and, upon seeing officers, Mr Shipp fled.
When police did pick him up, the court heard he was "heavily intoxicated and under the influence of an unknown substance".
Mr Shipp, in custody and representing himself, pleaded guilty to the charge but then objected to the facts read by the police prosecutor, saying "I didn't bash no-one".
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Magistrate Chris Callaghan's attempts to talk to Mr Shipp were then interrupted, first by Mr Shipp's partner calling out from the public gallery in an attempt to get the magistrate's attention.
Mr Callaghan sternly told her not to call out like that; he returned to Mr Shipp only to find the 28-year-old making a heart symbol on the video screen with his hands and trying to tell the woman he loved her.
"Forget that for the moment and just listen to me," Mr Callaghan said, once again trying to determine whether Mr Shipp agreed with the facts presented to the court.
Mr Shipp again reiterated his claim.
"I assaulted myself," he told the court
"I assaulted the car … I think I did that with my head."
Mr Callaghan then abruptly threw out Mr Shipp's guilty plea.
"You can't say 'I'm guilty of this' because I just want to get it out of the way," Mr Callaghan said.
He ordered the police provide a brief of evidence to Mr Shipp, and adjourned the matter until March 8.