Canberra restaurateur James Mussillon gets suspended sentence for assaulting police officer in Queanbeyan

Canberra restaurateur James Mussillon leaves Queanbeyan Court after receiving a suspended prison sentence. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Canberra restaurateur James Mussillon leaves Queanbeyan Court after receiving a suspended prison sentence. Photo: Rohan Thomson

A well known Canberra restaurateur was convicted on Monday of assaulting police and given a nine-month suspended prison sentence.

James Daniel Mussillon, 46, of Campbell, hit a Queanbeyan police officer with the door of his car while attempting to avoid arrest.

The court heard Mussillon had been gambling at the Queanbeyan Leagues Club in December and refused several requests from staff and police to leave the venue.

Once he agreed to leave he threatened officers from the driver's seat of his car and as the officers converged on his vehicle he hit one while reversing dangerously.

Mussillon was convicted of five charges and given a series of good behaviour bonds and suspended prison sentences. The most serious charge of using an offensive weapon to avoid detention carried the nine month suspended sentence.

Police prosecutor Danielle Byrne accepted Mussillon had shown remorse and apologised to the injured officer. However she described Mussillon as "agitated and irate" on the night of the offences and questioned whether he would receive appropriate rehabilitation to avoid such behaviour in future.

In sentencing, Magistrate Michael Antrum described Mussillon's actions as "aggressive and unnecessary" but was impressed Mussillon had taken steps to avoid a similar situation in future.

"You have come to a realisation of the seriousness of the events of that night," Magistrate Antrum said to Mussillon.

"Your perspective today is more mature than when you entered pleas."

However he added, "this is a very dangerous matter, one that calls for a serious response from the court."

Magistrate Antrum also said public scrutiny was "part and parcel" with the career success Mussillon had experienced and it should not affect any penalties handed down.

Mussillon's lawyer Rachel Bird informed the court Mussillon had imposed a self exclusion from licensed premises in the ACT for the maximum period of three years.

Speaking outside the court, Mussillon again expressed remorse for his actions and "wished he could take it back". He also hoped his actions would not undo his work to establish himself as one of Canberra's most successful restaurateurs.

Mussillon also received a $440 fine for refusing to leave a licensed premises when directed to do so.

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