Miner pleads guilty for rampage

A 40-YEAR-OLD underground machine operator who went on a drunken rampage across Emerald pleaded guilty to seven charges including assault and damage charges, in the Emerald Magistrate’s court last Monday.

Kenneth Steven Kersnovske was sentenced to two separate two-month suspended jail terms, 18-months probation and ordered to pay almost $1800 by Magistrate Cameron Press.

Prosecuting Sergeant Robyn Shapcott told the court shortly before 2pm on May 23, Mr Kersnovske entered the business of a 62-year-old Emerald dental technician while affected by liquor.

“After a short time he was asked to leave the store as he had no business being there and was affected by alcohol,” Sgt Shapcott said.

She said as the man began to leave he grabbed a boxed business stamp, re-entered the store and threw it at the businessman, striking him just below the glasses. A short time after Mr Kersnovske entered Blue Dolphin Cafe on Clermont St and began yelling and upsetting patrons, Sgt Shapcott said.

She told the court he ignored requests to leave and approached a male patron, who was about 70 years old, and kissed him on the face or lips.

She said Kersnovske left the premises after further verbal abuse toward staff and patrons.

Police then located Mr Kersnovske on Borilla St at 2.10pm.

Sgt Shapcott said Kersnovske made punching gestures towards police and a struggle ensued as officers attempted to arrest him.

While in the police car, Mr Kersnovske broke the two interior door handles, before throwing both in to the head of a sergeant through an airbag hole in the perspex screen separating the back seat from the front.

Sgt Shapcott said Kersnovske continued to yell abuse at the sergeant through the screen, slapping him, pulling his ear, and at one stage slamming the officer’s head into the perspex.

She said police struggled to retrieve Kersnovske from the sedan at the station and during the struggle he kicked a sergeant in the chest through the open car door.

Police eventually conveyed Mr Kersnovske to the watchhouse.

He later refused an interview.

Barrister Jeff Clarke, representing Mr Kersnovske, described his client as a “functioning alcoholic”.

He pointed to the fact his client’s prior convictions occurred when he was “very drunk” and added that he was ashamed of his actions and had not consumed any liquor since May 23.

“He has a problem with alcoholism, which does not excuse his behaviours, but provides a context for it to occur,” Mr Clarke said.

“He fully appreciates he needs to stop drinking and has taken extensive counselling to do so.”

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