20 March 2023

Man sentenced for choking police officer after Candelo car crash

| Albert McKnight
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David William Hargraves, 48, attacked a police officer in Candelo. Photo: Julia Gomina.

A man has been sentenced for choking a police officer who had been investigating a car crash on the Far South Coast.

Officers had been called to Auckland Street in Candelo around 9:30 on Sunday night (19 March) over reports of the crash, NSW Police said.

It was alleged a driver, said to be David William Hargraves, had hit a parked vehicle before exchanging particulars and fleeing the scene.

Two officers went to a nearby rural property shortly afterwards to issue the 48-year-old a future court attendance notice accusing him of driving under the influence.

But when the officers started to leave, Hargraves began assaulting one, an acting sergeant, by trying to choke him.

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He was arrested after a short struggle and assistance from more police, then was taken to hospital with superficial face injuries.

Police said the acting sergeant was admitted to hospital for suspected head and rib injuries, while two other officers who helped in the arrest were treated at hospital for leg and shoulder injuries.

Hargraves, who lives in Candelo, appeared in the Batemans Bay Local Court on Monday (20 March).

He pleaded guilty to single counts of intentionally choking a person with recklessness, hindering or resisting a police officer in the execution of their duty and driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as three counts of assaulting a police officer in the execution of their duty.

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Magistrate Doug Dick convicted him and sentenced him to 18 months’ jail to be served by an intensive corrections order in the community.

Hargraves was also fined $1800 and disqualified from driving for six months.

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