A magistrate has found a man guilty of refusing to accompany police for a drug test, saying an officer did not need to inform him it was an offence for him to be guilty of the crime.
In the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, Sonny Middleton, 33, fought his charge of refusing to accompany police to the station for an oral fluid test.
Middleton was pulled over in White Hills in July last year and underwent a drug test.
In a video played to the court, Highway Patrol's Senior Constable Paul Lethlean informs Middleton the test returned a positive result for cannabis and that he will need to go to the police station for a further test.
He tells Middleton he does not have to, but there are consequences if he does not and he could lose his licence for two years.
Middleton says he wants to go home and says he'll "keep going", but then gets a lift home from the police.
During cross-examination from defence counsel Kyle McDonald, Senior Constable Lethlean conceded he did not tell Middleton refusing to accompany him was an offence, but said he had informed him there were consequences.
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Mr McDonald also asserted Senior Constable Lethlean gave Middleton the false belief he did not have to accompany him to the police station by saying it was his choice, but the police officer said he was making it clear the defendant was not under arrest.
Magistrate Daniel Muling said he was satisfied Middleton was given enough information about what was required of him and why.
Middleton also pleaded guilty to several charges related to an incident at a Bendigo pub last July, including behaving in a riotous manner in public, wilful damage, being drunk and disorderly in public, assaulting a police officer, two counts of unlawful assault, and failing to leave a licensed premises.
About 8pm on July 21, Middleton was ejected from the pub after grabbing the wrist of and verbally abusing a staff member.
He and a friend returned about an hour later, but security were instructed to remove him.
Middleton said he would not leave and an altercation ensued when he grabbed a security guard's collar and shoved him.
He also punched a security guard in the side of the head and in a struggle chairs and tables were knocked over.
The man suffered a broken thumb and bruising to his ribs.
Middleton then left, punching and shattering a glass panel at the front door.
Police later located Middleton, but he ran.
He was chased to a car park, where he was apprehended but was verbally abusive towards officers, and spat in one officer's face after being told to calm down.
Mr McDonald said his client fled police because he was afraid of them after being hit by an officer when he was younger.
Middleton knew he had a problem with alcohol, Mr McDonald said, and had a "Jekyll and Hyde" personality that saw him engage in anti-social behaviour when he drank.
He urged the magistrate to consider a community corrections order, although prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Karl Mannes said incarceration would also be appropriate.
In sentencing, magistrate Mr Muling noted that the pub manager described the incident in his venue as "one of the most shocking incidents I've witnessed".
Mr Muling told Middleton he had to change.
He convicted Middleton and sentenced him to a 15-month community corrections order with 175 hours of community work and treatment for alcohol, mental health and offending as directed.
Middleton is excluded from the Bendigo CBD between 10pm and 6am for 12 months, and is banned from driving for four years.
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