A serial criminal who caused a ruckus in an op-shop before headbutting a police officer has been warned against further “shenanigans” in the courtroom after repeatedly trying to interject with profanities.
Christopher John Whykes, 51, was scheduled to be sentenced over charges of common assault, damaging property and resisting a Territory public official in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday (25 August), joining the courtroom over the phone.
His 79-page criminal history was printed off and handed to Magistrate Louise Taylor, who dryly remarked that the large paper file had “really contributed to the environment”.
Court documents show Whykes had gone to the busy Red Cross Shop at Woden Square early in the afternoon of 31 July 2021. He became aggressive to a staff member and began to swear at them.
The store manager and a customer both asked him to leave, but instead, he swept his arm across the shop’s counter, knocking items to the floor and damaging some. He pushed the customer backwards before leaving.
Police arrested Whykes in Woden Town Square later that afternoon, but he resisted them when they tried to walk him to a police car, refusing to move or throwing his body against them. He head-butted one officer in the jaw.
In the courtroom, Whykes’ Legal Aid lawyer Ms West objected to a victim impact statement, which the prosecution was attempting to present to the court, saying it was not relevant to the proceedings as it related to alleged harm on the victim.
When she mentioned the alleged bruising the victim claimed to have suffered, her client interrupted.
“That’s bulls–t. There’s no f–king bruising,” he said over the phone.
Magistrate Taylor warned that if he kept carrying on and being offensive, she would adjourn the matter. He apologised, but continued to interrupt.
“How can there be bruising when I didn’t lay a finger on him?” he said.
Magistrate Taylor eventually muted Whykes’ phone so he could no longer interrupt.
She adjourned the sentencing to next month so the victim had the opportunity to write a statement that she could take into account.
Magistrate Taylor also said there was the “clear prospect” of imprisonment. She asked Whykes to appear in court in person or over audiovisual link as she did not feel comfortable jailing someone over the phone.
“That said, I’m not going to put up with any shenanigans with Mr Whykes,” she warned.
Whykes, an unemployed man from Phillip, was remanded in custody to reappear in court on 1 September. He has pleaded guilty to his three charges.