’We all feel like it’: Dad cracks it at parking officer
WATCHING a parking officer hover around your car is a sight most people dread in silence, but a Sunshine Coast man took matters into his own hands in a heated exchange on Christmas Eve.
Harry James Preston, 57, blamed Christmas stress on accosting a Sunshine Coast Council parking officer who chalked his tyre while parked in a two-hour zone at Caloundra.
Preston approached the man, rubbed off the chalk on his tyre and questioned what the officer was doing.
The parking officer was "taken back" by the confrontation and fled.
Preston felt terrible and handed himself into police after the incident.
No complaint had been made by council and police encouraged Preston to apologise to the parking officer personally.
Police prosecutor Amanda Brewer said the parking officer told Preston it was "too late" for apologies when they spoke.
The parking officer made a formal police complaint shortly after.
Preston, who had no criminal history, pleaded guilty at Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Wednesday to resisting public officers.
"He lost his cool and showed deep remorse," Sergeant Brewer said.
The immigration officer had been temporarily suspended by his employer, Serco, and was ashamed about what happened.
Magistrate Maxine Baldwin empathised with Preston's frustration, saying she had recently been slapped with a parking fine at Eumundi.
"We all feel like cracking up at the parking officers when we get a fine," she said.
"You of all people (because of your line of work) should know what it's like to be abused."
Preston was ordered to complete three months' good behaviour and no conviction was recorded.