Man faked fit during police arrest

A CALIFORNIA Gully man who faked an epileptic fit after police picked him up for being drunk in public had been arrested 41 times in nine years for drunkeness, a court has heard.

Craig Ferrett, 39, faced six charges at Bendigo Magistrates Court on Monday, including three involving excessive intoxication.

Officers were taking Ferrett to the police station after arresting him for being drunk in public when he began to convulse in the back of the van, the court heard.

Police prosecutor Sergeant David Somerton said the officers were worried he was suffering an epileptic fit and took him to hospital where emergency department doctors said the man had faked the condition.

Tests at the hospital revealed Ferrett had a blood alcohol content of 0.26.

The court heard Ferrett had spent a night sobering up in the Bendigo police cells in December last year when he was arrested for kicking a woman's front door after she rebuffed his romantic advances.

He spent a further night in the holding cell in May after being ejected from a Kerang-bound train for drinking alcohol on board.

Ferrett entered guilty pleas to being drunk in a public place, criminal damage, failing to answer bail and breaching a bail condition by drinking alcohol.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of driving while disqualified.

The court heard Ferrett had four prior convictions for driving while disqualified in 2012 and had been imprisoned twice in the past 10 years.

Lawyer Hannah Wilson told the court her client had a very serious problem with alcohol which had developed after he overcame a five-year heroin addiction.

Ms Wilson also submitted Ferrett had only driven while disqualified to help others, which he admitted was poor judgement.

She said her client recognised his behaviour had been completely unacceptable and was prepared to tackle his alcohol issues.

The case was adjourned overnight for Ferrett to be assessed by the Department of Corrections.

On Tuesday, Magistrate William White sentenced Ferrett to 30 days in jail on the driving charges, ruled as time served by the 34 days already spent on remand.

Mr White also imposed a nine-month community corrections order requiring 90 hours of community work and treatment for alcohol addiction.


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