Police biter put victim through six-months of anguish
A WOMAN who bit and scratched a police officer caused six months of health concerns for the victim, a court has heard.
The woman's volatile actions were strongly criticised by an Ipswich judge, who said the officer had been called to the woman's home to provide assistance to her.
Olivia Shardonai Hoani, 22, pleaded guilty in Ipswich District Court to serious assault of a police officer causing bodily harm at Springfield on August 26 last year; and obstruction of a police officer.
Crown prosecutor Jacqueline Malouf said Hoani's criminal history included a District Court sentence for drug offending.
Ms Malouf said police were called to a Springfield house regarding a resident with mental health concerns.
Hoani was there and was verbally abusive, threatening physical violence towards another resident.
The court heard she remained highly agitated and when a senior constable tried to get hold of her Hoani reacted, causing him to stumble backwards.
The officer fell on top of her and Hoani scratched his forearm and bit him on the hand, breaking the skin.
The court heard Hoani released the officer's hand when the officer pushed her away. Her head hit the tiles causing an injury to her forehead.
Ms Malouf said Hoani was taken to Ipswich Hospital for treatment, then spent the night in the police watch house.
The officer was then subject to six months of disease testing.
Ms Malouf said a victim impact statement to the court tells of the toll those months had taken on the victim and his family.
Defence barrister Cecelia Bernardin said Hoani was upset at the ending of a relationship at the time.
The court heard she had been in a distressed psychological state.
Ms Bernardin tended photos of injuries suffered by Hoani, saying she required stitches to a head wound.
"Ms Hoani states that this was significant punishment for her. It was an out of character offence," Ms Bernardin said.
Judge Dennis Lynch QC made it clear that her behaviour had not been appropriate.
"I tell you that you are lucky not to get jail as your conduct was appalling. The police officers were there to help you," he said.
"You behaved in a way that put them and you at risk.
"If you do the same thing again, regardless of mental health issues, you will probably end up in jail.
"The officers were not there to be a target. They were there to help you and you lashed out at them in a way that was inappropriate.
"You used appalling language.
"They tried to help you and that's what thanks they get from you."
Judge Lynch said mental health problems could not be an excuse and deterrence was needed.
Hoani suddenly called out to the court, saying: "I'm going to pass out". Her head bent forward where she was seated in the dock.
Water was given to her and Judge Lynch continued with the sentence.
Judge Lynch noted Hoani had employment, had taken appropriate steps and was receiving appropriate medication.
He sentenced Hoani to an 18-month probation order. A conviction was recorded for the serious assault charge.
Hoani then said she wanted Judge Lynch to know that she had not pushed the police officer but reacted after being grabbed, saying: "I just wanted to clear that up".