Darron Macintire jailed for assaulting police officer at GMHBA Stadium

Published by the Geelong Advertiser on 29 January 2020

The police union has backed the jailing of a footy fan after shocking vision emerged of a man’s attack on a police officer outside GMHBA Stadium last year.

A footy fan has been jailed for a “disgraceful” attack on a policewoman outside GMHBA Stadium last year.

Darron Macintire, 46, was sentenced to a mandatory six-month prison term on Wednesday after admitting he punched the officer in the face during an AFL match between Geelong and North Melbourne.

Mobile phone footage of the August 10 incident was played to the Geelong Magistrates’ Court and showed Macintire punching the senior constable while a handcuff was attached to his right wrist.

Prosecutor Alana Groves said the punch was made with “full force” and caused the officer’s hat to fall off as her head was knocked backwards.

The victim and another female officer were attempting to arrest Macintire outside the Premiership Stand after he punched a security guard in the face moments earlier.

Macintire was resisting arrest and swung at the policewoman after she deployed OC spray.

The Corio man was attending the match with work colleagues and had been drinking for several hours inside the stadium’s private Pivot Room.

Members of the group, including Macintire’s wife, had left the stadium to smoke cigarettes when the incident happened at three-quarter-time.

The court heard Macintire was refused re-entry to the stadium after security noticed he was drunk.

The trucking company worker was initially calm but erupted with fury moments later, punching the security guard before turning his attention to police as they tried to handcuff him.

At one stage before assaulting the policewoman, Macintire told her: “Don’t worry, I don’t hurt women.”

Sergeant Groves said the officer experienced concussion symptoms for several weeks and had to take time off work.

She said there had also been ongoing “psychological damage” which had left the officer pondering her future in the force.

“She’s still questioning whether this is a career she wants to pursue,” Sgt Groves said.

Defence lawyer David Nelson said Macintire was a hardworking family man who had not previously been in trouble with the law.

He labelled his client’s behaviour “ugly” and “unacceptable”, but said Macintire was significantly affected by alcohol at the time.

The court heard Macintire had been banned from attending AFL matches for five years following the incident.

He pleaded guilty to four charges, including one count of recklessly causing injury to a police officer, which carries a mandatory minimum jail term of six months.

Magistrate Ann McGarvie said the policewoman was simply doing her job and did not deserve to be attacked.

“The most significant impact on her is the psychological effect in that she has now lost trust in members of the public,” Ms McGarvie said.

“She’s now much more wary when she’s in crowds and she’s rethinking the career that she loves.

“That is such a shame.”

The jail sentence was welcomed by Police Association boss Wayne Gatt, who said the mandatory prison terms were designed to jail “cowards” who assaulted people working to protect the community.

“Jail sentences for this type of offence shows our members that their safety and health and wellbeing in the eyes of the community and of the law, is important,” he said.

Western Victoria MP Stuart Grimley, a former policeman, said he was also pleased with the court outcome.

“I am very happy to hear that a mandatory sentence has been handed down for this disgraceful assault,” he said.

“Jail should mean jail — this is what the law intended but what our courts have almost entirely failed to enforce.

“Our emergency services workers deserve to be safe when trying to their job protecting us.”