Olympic boxer Damien Hooper will need to wait another week to learn of his sentence for splitting on a Queensland police officer.
Olympic boxer Damien Hooper is “embarrassed and ashamed” about spitting in a Queensland police officer’s face, a Queensland court has heard.
The 22-year-old has pleaded guilty to seriously assaulting police after becoming aggressive towards officers outside a nightclub in Dalby on Queensland’s Darling Downs in January 2013.
The Brisbane District Court heard on Thursday that Hooper was in a “great deal of pain” that day after multiple surgeries for a hand injury.
Judge Kerry O’Brien said Hooper’s decision to consume alcohol while wearing a pack that administered intravenous antibiotics was “not particularly wise”.
Crown prosecutor Michael Connolly told the court the elite athlete’s criminal history included numerous violent acts directed at police.
“The seriousness of this kind of offending has been reflected in the recent increase in maximum penalties,” he said.
Hooper’s barrister, Wayne Tolton, told the court his client had not consumed alcohol for six months and the threat of a jail term had served as a “wake-up call”.
Mr Tolton said Hooper had been struggling with the death of his cousin, who he considered a brother.
His talent for boxing was recognised at a young age by the national body and from 2010 he was ranked No.2 in the world.
Hooper has represented Australia on multiple occasions, including at the 2012 Olympics in London.
But he lacked a father figure during childhood and began to smoke and steal at a young age, Mr Tolton said.
He argued Hooper’s previous public nuisance offences coincided with breaks from the Queensland Academy of Sport.
Mr Tolton told the court that Hooper’s attempts at rehabilitation since the spitting offence had been “way out of the ordinary”.
He had made an effort to reach out to troubled youth and warn them about “what a fool he’s been”, Mr Tolton said.
Hooper is also expecting his first child with his partner.
A number of Hooper’s family members, including his partner, attended the hearing in support.
Judge O’Brien adjourned the sentencing of the defendant until Friday August 15.