Sometime after unleashing anti-Semitic vitriol on a young girl, Zachary John Froome went on a rampage at the Canberra Hospital that was so concerning he had to be sedated with ketamine.
On Thursday (20 January), the ACT Magistrates Court heard Froome, 24, had once contacted a young Jewish girl and made offensive remarks to her.
He was on conditional liberty after being convicted on a charge of using a carriage service to menace or harass over his hateful remarks to the girl when he went on his rampage, which Magistrate James Stewart described as “an exceptionally unusual display of behaviour”.
Froome was admitted to Canberra Hospital in November 2020 due to a drug overdose and was discharged several hours later, but went on to verbally abuse staff and use a hammer to try to smash a window.
He also used the tool to cause a “reasonably significant amount of damage to a garden bed”, Magistrate Stewart said, by destroying “half-a-dozen or so bricks” that made up a wall.
The magistrate said Froome’s behaviour would have been frightening to staff and others at the hospital and was so bad he had to be restrained and sedated with the use of ketamine, which was an “extraordinary step”.
Dr Jan de Bruin, appearing for Froome, said his client accepted he was under the influence of an illicit substance at the time and had already spent a significant period in custody.
He pleaded guilty to charges of damaging property and driving while suspended.
The second charge related to police pulling him over twice in one morning in January 2021, even though his licence had been suspended in 2016.
The court also heard he had spent over half his adult life in jail, having been locked up for three years and seven months since he turned 18.
But while he has a long history of substance abuse and anti-social peer associations, he was willing to engage in rehabilitation.
Froome was sentenced to 42 days’ jail, backdated as time served, fined $450 and disqualified from driving for one month. However, he was not released from custody that day as he is facing other charges.