Stephen Phelps: Geraldton man told police officers they would ‘burn in hell’ at Remembrance Day ceremony
A Geraldton man who shouted at police officers telling them they would “burn in hell” during a Remembrance Day ceremony last month has been handed a $700 fine.
Stephen Gerard Phelps faced Geraldton Magistrates Court on Thursday charged with behaving in a disorderly manner in a public place. He is also charged with using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence in relation to a separate incident in Karratha.
The 56-year-old man pleaded guilty to both charges.
Police prosecutor Sgt Beau Jones said Phelps was walking along Marine Terrace on September 29 when he began shouting verbal abuse towards officers in front of the police station.
The court heard school children were among the attendees preparing for a Remembrance Day ceremony.
Sgt Jones said Phelps began shouting “you’re all corrupt f.... c..., there’s a dark cloud hanging over you” and “you’re all going to burn in hell you f.... dogs”.
Lawyer Karen Ward said her client was a man of God and had “spoken to God who encouraged him to confront the police officers”.
The court was told Phelps initially refused but decided to do so so as he walked past the police station.
Ms Ward said there had been questions raised about his mental health in the past but Phelps denied any concerns.
The acting magistrate said a fine was appropriate in the circumstances and handed down a $700 penalty for the two offences.
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