An aspiring exercise scientist almost lost one of his arms a few months after he punched a woman in the head while holding a needle, a court has heard.
Liam Keogh Drummond, 24, was set to face a contested hearing last week on charges of intentional wounding and possessing an offensive weapon with intent.
However, he pleaded guilty when negotiations with the prosecution resulted in the wounding charge being replaced with a count of common assault.
An amended statement of facts says Drummond was "making erratic body movements and sweating profusely", apparently affected by methamphetamine, when police arrived at the scene of the October 2020 incident in Belconnen.
When officers instructed him to place his hands behind his back, he began fishing around in his pocket.
He grabbed a syringe for two or three seconds, but ultimately complied with directions to drop it.
Once Drummond had been handcuffed, the victim told police that the 24-year-old had "stabbed me in the head with a needle" while "off his face" on illicit drugs.
Drummond eventually admitted last week to punching the woman in the head while holding a needle, with his guilty plea entered on the basis that there was no evidence the sharp object had caused any injury.
Having spent about three-and-a-half months in custody on remand during two separate stints, he applied for bail in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday.
His lawyer, Andrew Byrnes, told the court Drummond had been granted bail in December before being remanded in custody again about a month later.
The 24-year-old was locked up for a second time after allegedly breaching bail by contacting the victim, but Mr Byrnes said the defendant did not admit to doing that.
He suggested the victim might have sent herself the messages in question using Drummond's SIM card in early January.
Mr Byrnes said that month had been a tough one for Drummond, who had undergone surgery and nearly lost an arm after an incident that involved the injection of drugs.
"He's gone through a hell of a lot to ultimately find himself back in custody," the lawyer said.
Mr Byrnes said Drummond's offending was the product of drug use, the "root cause" of which was mental health issues.
But he said Drummond had been sober while in custody and was committed to staying clean.
"He tells me that he's embarrassed," Mr Byrnes said.
"He's too old to be using drugs. He's too old, he tells me, to be in custody. He just does not want to be there anymore."
Mr Byrnes told the court that Drummond had the ongoing support of his family, and wanted to recommence his studies in exercise science.
He indicated that he would submit at sentencing that while the offence was a serious example of common assault, any further period of imprisonment imposed on Drummond should be suspended in favour of a good behaviour order.
A prosecutor opposed Drummond's application for bail, saying the victim continued to fear for her safety.
He told the court that his office had recently received a report that the victim had been "hit in a car crash by a friend of the defendant".
The prosecutor also said Drummond had "a history of violent offending", suggesting it would be of "very little comfort" to the court that the 24-year-old's proposed bail conditions did not include any arrangements for him to attend residential drug rehabilitation.
Magistrate Peter Morrison granted bail, noting that it was "by no means an easy or straightforward decision".
He said it was significant that Drummond had "the ongoing support of loving parents", and that the defendant had accepted responsibility for his crimes by pleading guilty.
Mr Morrison said Drummond would now have an opportunity to prove to the court that he could abide by conditions in the community ahead of his sentencing.
The 24-year-old's sentencing has been set down for March 9.
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