John Christodoulou didn’t much like the prospect of spending time in jail – so when a guilty finding was delivered in a Wollongong courtroom on Monday, he simply got up and left the building.
His freedom was short-lived, though, and he only made it as far as Church Street before police officers and court sheriffs caught up with him.
Yesterday, his decision to split proved a costly one, earning him extra time behind bars.
Wollongong Local Court heard Christodoulou, 49, had fronted the court on Monday to answer an assault charge.
However, after a magistrate found him guilty, he picked up a stack of paperwork sitting in front of him, threw it into the air and stormed out of the courtroom.
He got as far as the corner of Church and Market streets before he was apprehended by police and brought back before the court to hear his sentence.
Upon being told he would serve nine months’ jail for the assault, Christodoulou again tried to leave.
He was eventually subdued by police who had to use capsicum spray and hold him on the floor to restrain him.
Facing the court again yesterday, Christodoulou pleaded guilty to trying to escape custody and resisting arrest.
However, defence solicitor Angela Melouney claimed her client had not left the courtroom on Monday with the intention of trying to escape.
‘‘He was frustrated by the court process,’’ she said by way of explanation.
‘‘He does concede he left [the courtroom, but] he wanted to cool off. He was upset by the way the matter had proceeded; he had no intention of disrupting the court, his actions flowed from frustration,’’ Ms Melouney said.
However, magistrate Sharon Holdsworth said it appeared Christodoulou was simply unhappy with the court outcome and was trying to leave.
She also noted he had an extensive criminal history and had previously been to prison.
She ordered him to serve an additional three months in jail for the escaping custody offence on top of his nine-month prison sentence for the assault.
He also received a one-month jail sentence for resisting arrest, to be served concurrently.
Christodoulou will be eligible for release on February 16, 2014.