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Monday, September 26, 2022

    Home and Away star who threatened to rape policewoman escapes penalty

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    Home and Away actor Josh Quong Tart can’t recall a policewoman being ‘threatened with rape’ after being caught wandering nude in a car park at the train station.

    Quong Tart crashed his car into a median strip earlier that day, was arrested by members of the public, and wet himself while in custody while intoxicated.

    Quong Tart has avoided conviction-or other penalty-for his one-person drunken spree of crime after discovering that he was not legally liable for his acts.

    A court heard that Quong Tart suffered from problems with alcohol, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and hyperactivity disorder with attention deficit.

    He had also suffered a head injury in the car crash, which led to delirium-consuming and may have contributed to events that followed.

    The star, who starred in All Saints, McLeod’s Daughters and Underbelly, spent two months apart in three run-ins with police.

    In a bizarre confrontation south of Sydney last November, Quong Tart was accused of resisting arrest, wilful and obscene exposure, and intimidating a police officer.

    The Newtown 44-year-old was also charged in January in Sydney with assaulting police, resisting arrest, and offensive behavior.

    He successfully sought to have all six matters dealt with Monday at Wollongong Local Court under the Mental Health Act.

    Quong Tart ‘s lawyer said his client was under stress and was taking alcohol self-medication. ‘He doesn’t remember all of this at all,’ the lawyer told the court.

    Home and Away actor Josh Quong Tart, 44, successfully sought for a string of charges related to three bizarre confrontations with police to be dealt with under the Mental Health Act. Quong Tart is pictured leaving Wollongong Local Court on Monday afternoon

    Quong Tart’s law troubles began when on November 24, at Unanderra near Wollongong, he refused a breath test about 4.30 pm.

    After seeing Quong Tart crash into a median strip on the Princes Highway at Albion Park Rail, members of the public had previously called the police and then continued to swerve over the road.

    He subsequently removed from his car, seized by several people on a grass verge, and put under arrest by the resident.

    Quong Tart refused to agree to a breath test when police arrived and told cops, ‘I hate you f***ing people. F*** you.’

    Quong Tart has been handcuffed and taken to a police station where officers have found the smells of poisonous liquor.

    The accused was very unstable on his feet, and could hardly lift himself off the ground,’ said a statement of facts. ‘The accused lost control of his bladder and wet his pants in his cell during his time.’

    ‘The accused has come under increasing police notice due to his behaviour including violent and alcohol related offences,’ a statement of facts said. Quong Tart is pictured playing Miles Copeland opposite Ada Nicodemou’s character Leah Patterson-Baker in Home and Away

    Quong Tart’s troubles with the law began when he refused a breath test near Wollongong on November 24. Members of the public had called police after seeing Quong Tart crash into a median strip on the Princes Highway. He is pictured with Georgie Parker in Home and Away

    After his car keys seized, Quong Tart was eventually released, and he was dropped off at Thirroul train station to find his way home.

    Approximately one hour after his release, shortly before 8 pm, police were called to the train station, where they found Quong Tart naked, trying to unlock the car of another.

    He resisted arrest, kicked a constable, and was held in detention again.

    Back at Quong Tart police station, officers bombarded with threats including, ‘F*** you c***s, I’ll have you’ and ‘I’m going to f*** you up, c***s’. 

    According to a police statement of facts tendered in court, he called a ‘s***t’ to one female officer and told her, ‘I will rape you.’

    Formerly, he was refused bail by the authorities, with an officer writing in court documents: ‘The conduct of the accused when in a public place is deplorable.’

    ‘The perpetrator attempted to rape female police officers and was seen almost nude walking on a busy street.

    ‘The conduct of the accused against police was utterly disgusting, insensitive and at times offensive to the female staff.’

    Quong Tart explained the recent issues with alcohol and the police in a statement of facts tendered to the court.

    ‘Due to his behavior including violent and alcohol-related offenses, the accused has come under increasing police notice,’ the statement said.

    ‘The accused is currently under probation for such offenses and it is believed that in the future the accused will continue to be subject to further police warning without appropriate intervention.’
    From 2007 until 2011, Quong Tart played Miles ‘Milco’ Copeland in Home and Away, Matt Horner in All Saints and Andrew Perish in Underbelly: Badness.

    He also starred as Scar in Disney’s The Lion King 2013-2016 stage production toured Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth.

    The crimes in Sydney committed the night after Quong Tart finished playing the lead role in the Betty Blokk-Buster Reimagined raunchy cabaret drag series.

    That altercation with police started on January 27, when he was seen on William Street’s median strip, Darlinghurst, ‘waving his hands erratically in the air.’

    While police stopped at traffic lights around 10.50 pm, they approached the public and said, ‘that guy over there just assaulted a taxi driver then took off.

    Officers lost sight of Quong Tart but were directed to another nearby parked taxi by footmen.

    As police asked the cab driver if he had a passenger in his back, he smiled and said yes.

    ‘Officers then noticed the accused trying to hide from officers sight in the rear left seat of the taxi,’ the statement of facts said.

    After that, two constables approached the car and attempted to speak with Quong Tart.

    The accused immediately became hostile to police, shouting “f*** off” aggressively, “get the f*** away from me,” “f*** off.”‘

    Police triggered videos from their body camera and called for backup.

    ‘The accused kept shouting aggressively, giving similar phrases … That causes saliva to come out of his mouth and land inside the taxi window.’

    While one constable held the door of the taxi closed from the outside, Quong Tart started punching the window.

    Quong Tart then left the vehicle from the unprotected rear passenger door, and police, including Constable Kory Center, were followed.

    ‘The accused then turned around and threw a punch at Constable Center with his right hand in a fist, struck him over his right eye,’ the statement of the facts said.

    ‘Constable Center then used a defensive move and brought the accused down to the ground.’

    He continued to resist violently, as Constable Center and a female colleague tried to handcuff Quong Tart. Finally, he stopped until more officers arrived.

    Quong Tart was taken to the police station in Surry Hills, where he caused more trouble.

    ‘The accused tried to obstruct police when attempting to push the accused into a cage, seeking to get free from their grip,’ the statement of facts said.

    ‘Nonetheless, the accused rushed towards the door opening and put his hands between the door and the cell frame to keep it from closing.

    ‘A number of officers had allowed the accused to be restrained again until he was safely confined in the cage.’

    Quong Tart was so hostile and non-cooperative that he not give the chance of being interviewed electronically.

    At the Magic Mirror Spiegeltent in Hyde Park, the night before, the melee Quong Tart had ended an 18-night run as the title character in Betty Blokk-Buster Reimagined.

    Quong Tart had had PTSD since being wrongly arrested and released without charge in 2000, the court heard. After then, any police contact has triggered ‘automatic causes of arousal.’

    He also had been driving a vehicle when, in 1998, a mother and her children stepped out before him. The mother ended up in a coma, and the kids took to the hospital.

    His defense lawyer said his father, as a child and racist bullying in high school had subjected Quong Tart to strict physical discipline.

    Quong Tart had been drinking half a bottle of vodka a day for 12 months before his arrest.

    He completed a four-week program, earlier this year, at a private rehabilitation facility on the north coast of New South Wales.

    On May 27, Downing Center Local Court heard that Quong Tart was a ‘decent man’ who was ultimately out of character ‘abhors’ violence and offense.

    He had taken care of an elderly friend, served in old-age care facilities, and led the entertainment industry to young people.

    ‘He is an exceptional person in many ways,’ his defense lawyer said.

    Magistrate Alison Viney accepted that Quong Tart had PTSD but refused to deal with the offenses under the Mental Health Act instead of criminal law.

    ‘Whilst I agree that the claimant is suffering from a psychiatric illness, there is also alcohol involved in the conduct of these crimes,’ she said.

    The appeal was brought before Magistrate Susan McGowan at Wolong Local Court under the same law covering both types of offense.

    Ms. McGowan said that alcohol had played a part in the actions of Quong Tart but exercised her authority under the Act and chose not to deal with the issues as crimes.

    ‘Whoever got in touch with Mr. Quong Tart on those evenings must have been upsetting,’ she said.

    ‘He has no clear remembrance of doing anything like that.

    “It seems like there’s a pattern … Excessive alcohol-drinking, self-medicating.’

    Ms. McGowan ordered Quong Tart, who pleaded guilty to refusing a breath test, to follow a psychological treatment plan and to abstain six months from alcohol and illegal drugs.

    She banned him from driving for seven months for refusing a breath check and sentenced him on a community probation order lasting 12 months.

    The actor is a descendant of prominent Chinese-born Sydney merchant Mei Quong Tart, who died less than a year after being stolen and bashed into the Queen Victoria Building in July 1903.

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