Man taken to hospital for assessment absconded and woke up on golf course

MATTERS BUILD UP: A man who stole a BMX bike from outside a cafe, had a suspected stolen bottle of gin, broke a door jamb, spat on a police officer and spat on the police dock has been sentenced to jail for each charge.
MATTERS BUILD UP: A man who stole a BMX bike from outside a cafe, had a suspected stolen bottle of gin, broke a door jamb, spat on a police officer and spat on the police dock has been sentenced to jail for each charge.

A man who handed himself in to police after disappearing from Orange Health Service where he had been taken for a mental health assessment following his arrest has been sentenced to four months in jail.

Michael Cleary, 29, of Sir Neville Howse Place, was taken to the hospital by police after attempting to self-harm while in custody but disappeared when he went outside for a cigarette.

Police spent hours searching for him and visited everywhere he was known to attend but on February 24, Cleary visited Orange Police Station to hand himself in.

“I’ve got no money, I’ve got no food, everyone is sick of the police coming around so I’ve got no place to stay,” he said when asked why he decided to hand himself in.

He had been charged with two counts of destroying or damaging property and one of assaulting a police officer from the events on December 14.

Cleary was also sentenced to four months in jail for stealing a BMX bike and helmet which had been left outside a cafe in Summer Street for a few minutes on January 3 and possessing a bottle of gin that was suspected to be stolen.

Cleary appeared in Orange Local Court via audio visual link from custody on Tuesday where he was sentenced for the two separate matters with his four-month jail sentences back-dated to his arrest on February 24, with his date of release set for June 23.  

He was represented in court by solicitor Peter Ringbauer, who said his client understood assaulting a police officer was a very serious offence, as were the others.

“He didn’t know if he assaulted a female or a male officer or the manner of the assault,” Mr Ringbauer said.

“He absconded from Bloomfield and woke up on the golf course.”

According to police facts, Cleary had been drinking at a house in Moad Street from 4pm on February 13 to 1am on February 14 and kicked a locked screen door, breaking the door jamb.

He was arrested in Evans Place and while in the back of the police car maneuvered his handcuffed hands from behind him to in front and twice on the way to the police station attempted to tie cords from his jumper around his neck but was stopped by police both times.

At the police station, he bit himself then spat on a police officer through a gap in the dock door. This was the cause of the assault police charge and second damage property offence, due to the dock being unable to be used again until it was cleaned.