"You could have killed yourself or others around you".
Those were the words of Magistrate Joy Boulos in Leeton Local Court this week when sentencing a man who lunged for a police officer's gun after being kicked out of a licensed premises on December 1 just after midnight.
Mesulame Navakayala appeared in court on Tuesday where he was sentenced for assaulting a police officer in the execution of duty.
His solicitor David Davidge told the court Navakayala was "grossly affected by alcohol".
Having reviewed the CCTV footage of the incident, Mr Davidge praised the actions of police.
"(Navakayala) self reports to me he never wants to see himself in this situation again," he said. "He's ashamed and embarrassed of his behaviour on this particular evening."
According to facts tendered to the court, Navakayala had been asked to leave a licensed premises and became agitated at the time by a third party "getting involved" in the situation outside the hotel while he was talking with police.
The court heard it was soon after that he lunged for an officer's pistol, lifting the firearm in an upward motion until stopping on the holster's retaining clip.
Magistrate Boulos said while alcohol was a factor on the night of the incident, it did not explain Navakayala's actions.
"I accept this behaviour does appear to be a singular incident ... your character references are of the highest order," she said.
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"You have shown remorse and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. Because these matters are serious, a conviction will be recorded."
Navakayala was handed an 18-month Community Corrections Order that will require him to complete 120 hours of community service.