News

Police officer splattered with blood during attack

A HEPATITIS C-positive woman who flicked her blood on a police officer during an aggressive attack on emergency services avoided prison because the bodily fluid did not enter an orifice.

Rebecca Louise Sarah Baker, 32, was released on parole immediately after pleading guilty in Ipswich District Court to two charges of common assault and two further charges of serious assault.

Baker spiralled into an extremely aggressive state after consuming a cocktail of prescription medicine and alcohol last June.

One of Baker's friends wrongly thought she and Baker were prescribed identical medication.

Instead of taking her anti-depressants, Baker was given far stronger anti-psychotics prescribed to her friend.

It led to a physical and verbal tirade of abuse targeted at the emergency services crews who were sent to help her.

As the potent mix took hold of Baker, she gashed her hand while drunkenly smashing glass.

Paramedics were called and found Baker at a Churchill address in a highly aggressive state. They called the police.

When two female officers arrived, Baker threw objects at them and refused to co-operate with emergency services, despite the seriousness of her injury.

Her blood splattered on a police officer's hands and sweater after she was handcuffed by police in an attempt to restrain her from thrashing around as she was transported to Ipswich Hospital.

Baker's aggressive behaviour continued in hospital, punching a nurse in the head as she was escorted to the toilet.

Later, Baker lunged at police officers while restrained in a hospital bed, attempting to bite them.

Baker told hospital staff she "didn't care" about contamination concerns regarding her hepatitis.

HIV and hepatitis tests for the officer who had blood splattered on her came back negative.

Judge Greg Koppenol, describing it as a "contemptible act" said if any of the blood had landed near the officer's eyes or mouth Baker would have gone to jail.

He said as she hadn't purposely taken illicit drugs or drunk herself into a stupor the case was different from people who were intentionally drunk.

"This woman was in a daze," he said. "(She) was out of it; it's not like some of these yobbos who spit at police."

Baker was sentenced to six months prison for the serious assault charges and four months prison for the common assault charge.

Topics:  assault hepatitis c ipswich district court



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