News

Fire starter spits in the eye of authority

AN IPSWICH mum spat in the face of a police officer as he arrested her for starting a fire in another woman's bedroom.

Tammy Maree Duffy pleaded guilty in Ipswich District Court to charges of wilful damage, burglary and two counts of serious assault.

Prosecutor Ryder Reid said the 40-year-old had been living at a residential care facility in North Booval when the incident occurred on February 28.

Duffy crept into the room of one of the female residents about 7pm and set fire to a rubber mat while the woman slept.

The incident was captured on security camera footage and showed Duffy revisiting the room to check the progress of the fire.

After about 10 minutes fire alarms sounded, which awoke the sleeping woman moments before staff at the facility extinguished the flames.

Mr Ryder said it was fortunate that only the mat and a small wooden table were damaged and that no one was injured.

When police arrived, Duffy denied starting the fire and spat in the eye of one of the officers when he tried to take her into custody.

As Duffy was escorted to the police van, she spat in the same officer's face again during a pat down search.

Mr Ryder said Duffy's criminal history began when she was 22, and contained at least seven incidents where she had spat in the face of police or corrective service officers.

Defence barrister Steve Kissick said Duffy suffered from a significant psychiatric condition in which she had difficulty controlling her impulses.

On the day of the offence, Mr Kissick said his client had been drinking alcohol and not been taking the medication for her condition.

Mr Kissick said Duffy was "deeply remorseful" for the way she acted out from time to time and that she could not offer an explanation to why she lit the fire.

He said she was back on her medication and that prior to the incident her last spitting offence was in 2008.

Judge Gregory Koppenol said spitting in the face of an officer was a serious offence that showed contempt for authority.

"Apart from the disgusting and revolting nature of the act it also involves a serious risk to the victim's health," he said.

"In respect to setting fire to the mat, you were fortunate that incident didn't result in more tragic circumstances."

Judge Koppenol noted Duffy had served already served 229 days in presentence custody.

She was sentenced to 30 months jail and released on parole.

Topics:  burglary, ipswich district court, serious assault, wilful damage




Introducing Winter, Diesel, Rusty and Benson

Winter is coming - hopefully to a home with you. But don't worry, I won't bring cold and terror to your lives (like on Game of Thrones). My aim is to bring you love and fun . I am full of beans and ready for adventure .

Phone the RSPCA on 3426 9999 for more details about these animals

Latest deals and offers

Recycling your childhood faves

GHOST GIRL: Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones in a scene from Ghostbusters.

Everything that's old is new again

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

Indigenous artist shows tourists secrets of Aboriginal painting

Ever thought "I could do that" about Aboriginal art?

Dynamic pics from Splendour Day 1

The Strokes perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Check out the latest pictures from Splendour in the Grass.

Bindi Irwin: 18 magic photos to mark her 18th birthday

Bindi Irwin with a python.

Photos: Bindi Irwin from babyhood to 18

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles