Toowoomba Courthouse
Toowoomba Courthouse Bev Lacey

Toowoomba magistrate gives refugee one last chance

A TOOWOOMBA magistrate has warned a former refugee who had developed an alcohol problem that he must not commit further offences or he would risk jail time.

Police had been directed to Alhaji Kanneh who had been walking in the middle of Margaret St flagging down traffic in the CBD about 11pm, February 19, Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard.

Police found the 29-year-old at the corner of Ruthven and Margaret Sts having discarded his outer clothing and stood dressed in just his boxer shorts and shoes, police prosecutor Natalie Bugden told the court.

He had then walked to the footpath away from police and continued to swig on a drink of alcohol, Sergeant Bugden said.

Arrested and taken to the watch house, Kanneh had head butted a window of a cell and had to be moved to a padded cell, she said.

Kanneh pleaded guilty to public nuisance, consuming liquor in a public place and obstructing police.

Sgt Bugden said the defendant had amassed a 10-page criminal history for similar offending and had been on parole at the time.

His solicitor Shane MacDonald told the court his client was Liberian born and had spent six years in a refugee camp in Ghana.

His client had a 14-year-old son and ex-partner still in the camp, he said.

His client had mental health issues and had developed an alcohol problem and had been drunk at the time of this incident, he said.

Magistrate Kay Ryan warned Kanneh that he would have to stop such behaviour or risk actual jail time.

Ms Ryan sentenced him to three months in jail but suspended the term in whole for nine months.