’I licked all that s**t at the shops’
An "idiotic" man who endangered the lives of countless people by licking grocery items in Woolworths has been sentenced to jail.
Ebbannezah Raymond Douce, 21, was on bail for driving offences when he defied Queensland COVID-19 health directives.
The Townsville District Court heard Douce went to the City Lane and City Arcade on Flinders St at 9.44am on March 31 this year.
The court heard Douce licked an escalator handrail which was witnessed by a security guard who reported the incident to police.
At 9am on April 8, Douce returned to City Lane and licked a steel pole and advertising sign out the front of Woolworths.
The court heard Douce then entered the store breakfast aisle and licked a number of cereal boxes.
Police arrested Douce on April 10 after he was identified from CCTV footage and told the officers, "Is this 'coz I licked all that s**t at the shops," he said.
"I thought it would be funny because everyone else is freaking out about it and I'm not scared because I'm not going to get sick."
Crown prosecutor Monique Sheppard described Douce's acts as "idiotic", "deliberately disgusting" with the "potential to harm".
Douce pleaded guilty to eight charges including two counts of public nuisance and one count of contamination of goods with intent.
Fortunately Douce was not carrying any communicable diseases after being tested in jail.
Defence barrister Edward Bassett told the court when he asked his client why he licked the items, Douce said, "I don't know" and admitted he was under the influence of ice at the time.
Mr Bassett told the court Douce left school in year eight and developed an addiction to ice and cannabis at the age of 12.
Judge Gregory Lynham told Douce his behaviour was "reprehensible", "serious" and "bizarre".
As the crown and defence did not have comparable cases to present to the court for appropriate sentencing, a lengthy debate ensured about setting a new precedent.
Mr Bassett explained a sentence should reflect his client's young age but Judge Lynham disagreed, arguing the penalty imposed should act as a deterrence to society.
Judge Lynham made it clear he intended to send a strong message to the community.
"You might have thought your offending was funny or humorous. I'd like to think now you are under no misapprehension just how unfunny your offending was," he said.
"If anyone is as stupid enough to engage in this type of behaviour, they can expect to go to jail."
Judge Lynham declared the 41 days spent in pre-sentenced custody and sentenced Douce to 12 months jail with a parole date set at July 9 this year.
Convictions were recorded.
Originally published as 'I licked all that s**t at the shops': Jail for city licker