'It's not a nice place to be': man avoids returning to jail after punching police officer

COP IT SWEET: A man has been given a suspended jail sentence for punching a police officer.

COP IT SWEET: A man has been given a suspended jail sentence for punching a police officer.

A MAN who punched an Orange police officer in the stomach, twice, spent his first month in an adult prison but was released after he was given a suspended sentence in Orange Local Court on Thursday. 

Matthew Powell turned 18 in December and eight days after he became an adult, in the eyes of the law, he was arrested.

Police facts said officers showed up at his Jubilee Avenue address, on December 29, in relation to another matter and attempted to arrest the teenager who swore violently at them and attempted to escape. 

He pulled his hands free from the officer and punched him twice before Powell’s father grabbed his son and pulled him out of reach of police. 

The officer used capsicum spray to subdue them. 

Powell was convicted of resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, assault and contravening an apprehended violence order. 

His solicitor Bob Lulham asked magistrate, Terry Lucas, to consider not giving his client a full-time jail sentence. 

He said he had already spent a short time in custody after he was refused bail earlier this year and he did not want to spend any more time in an adult institution. 

Mr Lucas asked Powell if he wanted to spend the rest of his life in jail.

“No, I don’t, it’s not a nice place to be,” Powell told him. 

Powell’s assault charges were in relation to a domestic dispute where he tried to smash a ceramic cup over a woman’s head on April 7. 

Powell was given a 12 month suspended sentence which meant if he committed a crime within that time he would serve the remainder of the sentence behind bars. 

The officer who was assaulted returned to work the day after the incident.

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