League caller Doug Graham continues to struggle as police drag him down the grandstand step from the commentary box at Frank McGuren Field.
League caller Doug Graham continues to struggle as police drag him down the grandstand step from the commentary box at Frank McGuren Field. Tim Howard

League caller faces court after high profile arrest

A LOCAL Court magistrate has spelled out the good and bad sides of colourful Grafton identity Douglas John Graham.

Magistrate Kathy Crittenden said Graham's active role in the community, including volunteering as a commentator for the Grafton Ghosts at their home games, was a consideration in her sentencing of Graham.

Graham fronted Grafton Local Court today for sentencing on charges of affray, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault for an incident in a carpark on April 19, 2018 involving Graham and a co-accused.

Graham's co-accused was placed on good behaviour bonds for his involvement, but Graham failed to appear was sentenced in his absence and warrants were issued for his arrest.

His belated arrest occurred mid football call at a Grafton Ghosts home game on July 6 this year, when two police officers hauled Graham from his commentary position at Frank McGuren Field and took him in.

Graham's defence solicitor Joel Eng said a heart condition made his client unsuitable for a custodial sentence and made submissions for a community correction order or a good behaviour bonds, in line with his co-accused's sentence.

Mr Eng said Graham's offending was often alcohol related, and the number of offences had diminished in recent years.

He said Graham had history of drug use in his younger days, including 10 years as a shearer, when he used methamphetamines and was an intravenous drug user. Because of this he believed his client would achieve more from an order which specified supervision from community corrections rather than jail.

Magistrate Crittenden said the charge of affray carried a maximum 10-year jail term, which indicated the seriousness of Graham's offending.

She said the incident in the carpark of a local shopping centre involved a lot of people and was clearly the result of some pre-existing disputes involving a number of people in which Graham chose to become involved.

Ms Crittenden said the evidence showed Graham had punched a security guard in the face, breaking his nose and forcing him back through a shop window.

He had also punched a woman in the face, causing some soreness, but no other injury.

The incident was witnessed by a large number of people, including children.

Ms Crittenden said described it as a "significantly violent event", but placed Graham's offending below the mid range of offending.

She said Graham's recent record revealed a number of positive character traits and his pattern of offending had diminised.

"On the matters before me I believe the chances of his re-offending are low," she said.

"But I must have regard to the injury to the victims, especially the security guard who was injured while just going about his business."

She sentenced Graham to 12 months community corrections order for the affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm matters. She also fined him $500 each for both assault matters.