A drug-affected man who masturbated in front of women before spitting on the face of a woman police officer at Lexton’s electronic music festival Rainbow Serpent has escaped conviction.
The 23-year-old Ivanhoe man, who The Courier has chosen not to name,appeared before the Ballarat Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to a string of serious charges including directing sexual activity towards another person and assaulting an emergency worker following the four-day “bush doof” last January.
The court was told the man entered a tent with his pants pulled down to his ankles before he began to masturbate in front of a group of people, including three women.
Shocked witnesses called for help before security guards arrived on scene, but the man quickly became aggressive, verbally abusing the guards and yelling“I’ll knock your f*cking teeth out”.
A struggle broke out, with the man kicking a woman police officer twice before spitting on her left cheek.
He was eventually arrested and taken to Ballarat police station, where he stayed the night in a cell before being interviewed the next day, telling police he had been “bantering” with women at the festival and had taken hallucinogens and MDMA.
In court on Tuesday, the man’s defence lawyer said his client had not taken drugs before and did not intend on taking drugs until he was offered them at Rainbow Serpent.
MagistrateJohanna Metcalf slammed the man’s behaviour, saying“you’ve got to live with what you’ve done and the embarrassment of it”.
“Are you saying he’s never taken illegal drugs before and has had a reaction?” Ms Metcalf asked.
The man, who was supported by his girlfriend in court, was fined $3500 and escaped a criminal conviction.