Police have condemned a series of confronting incidents at Colac’s cramped courthouse this week, while south-west legal eagles say the incidents highlight a “very real” need for more space.
Police and court security responded to three separate incidents in the space of about two hours at Colac Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
Court was temporarily stood down as police prosecutor Alex Good twice had to respond to patrons screaming abuse outside the courtroom.
Sergeant Mark Hobbs of Colac police said the first incident involved a young male who abused security and was escorted from the building, and a second incident involved another male raising his voice at a duty lawyer in one of the front rooms.
Meanwhile, two females who had left the courtroom in relation to a family violence matter were arrested after one had a clump of hair pulled out.
Sgt Hobbs said police took both females to the Colac Police Station and charged one with unlawful assault before putting cross intervention orders in place to protect both women from each other.
He said there was a range of reasons why incidents like these could happen.
“It’s a mix, because you have confined spaces where a lot of people in the room are known to each other, and it’s emotional, but there is also a lot of disregard from some of the people that go to court for the security and the police and everyone that goes there,” Sgt Hobbs said.
See today’s Colac Herald for more.