‘Fighter’ jailed for kicking officer

A man who says he is a "professional competitive fighter" has been imprisoned 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 yesterday 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, he was drinking with associates in Queenstown.

Police arrived and wanted to speak to him about a separate incident, but because of his behaviour escorted him to their car.

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

A second unit was called and again Couch was placed in a police vehicle.

He wrestled his way out of the car and on to the road before he was put back into it.

He threatened the police and told them he was a "professional competitive fighter", a claim which Crown prosecutor Olivia Taylor confirmed was partly true.

In the car, he 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 he had spent two months in custody since being found guilty at trial.