Toowoomba mum jailed for deliberately coughing on cops
A TOOWOOMBA mother who kicked and deliberately coughed on police officers while telling them she had the coronavirus has been handed a jail term.
The mother of four had moved her family into her mother's Oakey home after she lost her accommodation in Toowoomba, the city's Magistrates Court heard.
However, with nine people living in the small four-bedroom home, tensions rose and the woman on Tuesday night had got drunk and argued with her mother to the point the police were called about 12.45am, police prosecutor Nikola Prince told the court.
After she told police she was going to kill her mother as soon as police left, the 34-year-old was arrested but then turned on a senior constable who she kicked and punched in the head, breaking his eyeglasses, when being placed into the police van.
Inside the police car, she had coughed over the senior constable and the car's seats, laughing that she had the coronavirus, Ms Prince said.
The police car had to be disinfected and the officer treated at hospital, she said.
Upon arriving at the Toowoomba watch house, the woman had screamed loudly before banging her handcuffs against the glass in her cell door.
Then, while being processed at the watch house counter, she had deliberately coughed over the watch house woman sergeant before struggling with officers who were trying to get her to dress in watch house issue clothing.
The woman, who is not named due to domestic violence orders, had spent almost 12 hours in custody before appearing by phone from the watch house to plead guilty to three counts of serious assault of police, three of wilful damage and one of obstructing police.
Duty solicitor Phil Stainton told the court his client had known the particular policeman for a number of years and was "very sorry" for the injuries she caused him and for her behaviour.
His client described her scale of drunkenness at the time as being six or seven out of 10, he said.
Magistrate Kay Ryan was handed a number of photographs showing the policeman's injuries, prompting her to comment that the offences were "very serious".
"There has to be a strong message sent to you and the community that this type of behaviour is unacceptable," Ms Ryan said.
Ms Ryan sentenced the woman to six months in jail, but ordered she be released immediately on parole, placed her on 18 months probation and ordered she pay $200 compensation for the officer's glasses.
With the woman's consent, Ms Ryan imposed a five-year order that she be of good behaviour toward her mother and not commit domestic violence against her.