Truck driver Ian Patrick Dick will not face further penalty after an alleged spitting incident at the Hynam border checkpoint in June last year.

Key points:

  • Ian Dick, 64, was arrested for allegedly spitting on a police officer at a border checkpoint
  • He was charged with offensive language, committing a prohibited act involving human biological material, and resisting arrest
  • The truck driver won’t face further penalty after spending 12 days in custody in June last year

The matter was listed for trial in the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court on Friday, but instead the Victorian was sentenced after pleading guilty to lesser charges.

Dick, 64, was initially charged with offensive language, resisting arrest, and assaulting a police officer.

The charge of assaulting a police officer was downgraded on Thursday to committing a prohibited act involving human biological material.

The court heard Dick was passing through a COVID-19 checkpoint at Hynam, near Naracoorte in the South Australia’s south-east, when he was directed by police to stop.

Police said his speed approaching the checkpoint was “excessive”.

Upon questioning, police said Dick became “agitated and verbally abusive”.

Dick was sentenced after pleading guilty to lesser charges.(ABC South East SA: Grace Whiteside)

The prosecution told the court that Dick was eating a piece of cake while waiting in the truck cabin when he spat at the ground near where the two police officers were standing.

It was alleged that some of his saliva landed on the arm of one of the officers.

Police said Dick refused to get out of the truck cabin when they tried to arrest him.

He was arrested and later charged, and spent 12 days in custody.

‘No intention’ of spitting on police

The defence told the court Dick reacted that way because he had already passed through the Hynam checkpoint five or six times that day and was under time pressure to deliver his cargo.

Defence lawyer Dylan Walsh said his client admitted his language towards the police officers had not been appropriate, but he had “absolutely no intention” of spitting on the officer.

Mr Walsh told the court about the difficulties that truck drivers faced during border closures and that Dick had been in a heightened emotional state at the time.

Magistrate Maria Panagiotidis said Dick’s 12 days in custody were sufficient penalty and released him without further punishment.

A conviction was recorded.