Overnight ride along with the Queensland Ambulance Service, from 9pm Friday night to 5am Saturday. 11:45 pm, Gold Coast Hospital, Southport: A 20 year female that overdosed on illegal drugs arrives at hospital. Paramedic Sonia Grapes.
Overnight ride along with the Queensland Ambulance Service, from 9pm Friday night to 5am Saturday. 11:45 pm, Gold Coast Hospital, Southport: A 20 year female that overdosed on illegal drugs arrives at hospital. Paramedic Sonia Grapes.

Ambo chased with scissors, police officer spat on

A PARAMEDIC was chased on foot by an angry woman wielding scissors and a female officer spat on, in a series of ugly alcohol-fuelled incidents.

The woman, with a history of assaults on police, will not return to jail after receiving a lengthy sentence with immediate parole when her personal health circumstances were considered.

Cassandra Leigh Werner, 32, went before Ipswich District Court and pleaded guilty to four charges - committing a serious assault to a public officer when armed with scissors at Raceview on February 19, 2019; two counts of assaulting a male police officer at Ipswich on September 8, 2019; and unlawfully assaulting a female officer (aggravated) by spitting on September 21.

Crown prosecutor James Ford said the first charge involves Werner lunging with scissors at the ambulance officer.

"When he fled on foot she pursued him with scissors," he said.

Two other violent episodes involved Werner kicking a male police officer in his right knee when he was trying to assist her, and she also spat at another officer but the spittle missed.

In a separate assault in September when Werner was being arrested, and with her hands behind her back, she began spitting, the spittle striking the female officer in her face and eye.

"She has considerable criminal history and relevant in that this includes previous encounters with police, and spitting," Mr Ford said.

The court heard that despite previous breaches community service orders she was deemed to be suitable to engage in an intervention program.

The Crown sought an appropriate supervised sentence of between 21 and 28 months for such a type of compound offending against public officers.

Mr Ford said Werner was sentenced to a jail term with immediate parole release by Brisbane District Court in March 2018 for assaulting and spitting at police officers

And also sentenced to a probation order that was ongoing at the time she reoffended.

There was also a 12 month probation order for assaulting police which was active at the time.

Defence barrister Clare O'Connor sought a head sentence of two years, saying that seven months Werner spent in custody was not declarable on the fresh charges.

Taking account of all the circumstances, and contained in written submissions before him, Judge Dennis Lynch QC sentenced Werner to 17 months jail on the two most serious charges. And given immediate parole.

He said the mitigating circumstances included her addiction to alcohol and diagnosed mental health issues

"This will not prevent you being sent to prison if you can't control your behaviour," Judge Lynch warned.

"There is a need to protect health professionals, ambulance officers, paramedics, the public and police officers.

"These people who came there to help you.

"They were assisting you and you treated them this way.

"I appreciate you have real hurdles to deal with regarding mental health problems but in the end it will not prevent courts locking you up."

Judge Lynch said Werner had been sentenced before for similar conduct with a Judge stressing upon her then that she needed to reflect on her lifestyle and problems.

"To a large extent your conduct relates to mental health issues, PTSD, in conjunction with alcohol consumption," Judge Lynch said.

"I am satisfied you have insight into your conduct and the wrongfulness of it."

He found that the time served in custody to be sufficient but warned Werner risks being returned to jail if she does not stick to the rules.

He said Werner was an intelligent educated person with a Master's degree and nursing degree, but unless she controls the problems then sadly this may result in spending longer time in jail.



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