'Bad drunk' jailed for kicking officer in head

Cameron Couch has been jailed for 12 months after assaulting police in Queenstown. Photo: ODT files
Cameron Couch has been jailed for 12 months after assaulting police in Queenstown. Photo: ODT files
A Dunedin man who says he is a “professional competitive fighter” has been jailed for kicking a police officer in the head three times.

Cameron Nicholas Couch, 24, was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment in the Invercargill District Court this morning after he was found guilty of assaulting police.

He earlier admitted a charge of resisting police.

In 2021, the defendant was sentenced to home detention in the Dunedin District Court for bottling a man, leaving him concussed. 

The court heard Couch had received every community based sentence for his offending over the last five years.

Judge Michael Crosbie said Couch’s violent history meant home detention was not a sufficient deterrent.

On July 21, the defendant was drinking with associates in Queenstown.

Police arrived and wanted to speak with Couch about a separate incident but, due to his behaviour, escorted him to the car.

“You would not have a bar of that, you attempted to break free,” Judge Crosbie said.

A second unit was called, and again the defendant was placed in a police vehicle.

Couch wrestled his way out of the car and onto the road before he was put back in. 

He threatened police, telling them he was a “professional competitive fighter” - a claim which Crown prosecutor Olivia Taylor confirmed was partly true.

In the car, Couch kicked an officer in the head three times.

“You were acting extremely aggressively and violently,” Judge Crosbie said.

“Your behaviour went from resisting and obstructing through to a not insignificant assault.”

Couch admitted he had a problem with alcohol, but had previously completed programmes to address the issue.

“He’s a bad drunk... he obviously has the tendency to become belligerent,” counsel Scott Williamson conceded.

The court heard Counch had spent two months in custody since being found guilty at trial.