Mother says 15-months jail 'excessive' for spitting on cop

A WARWICK woman who was sent to jail for spitting in a police officer's face will find out next Tuesday if she will have to spend her full five months in jail.

Kerry Anne Murray, 20, was sentenced to 15 months jail in July last year, to be eligible for parole in December. However, she has appealed the sentence, saying it was excessive.

At the Court of Appeal yesterday, her defence lawyer Robert East from Legal Aid Queensland said the jail time was excessive and that Ms Murray had a young one-year-old child that would suffer because of it.

He also said Warwick District Court Judge Gregory Koppenol did not take Ms Murray's motherhood into account when handing down his sentence.

The maximum penalty for assaulting a police officer in Queensland increased in 2012 from seven to 14 years.

In December last year, police were called to a Warwick house when Ms Murray, who was 19 at the time, was verbally abusive.

When she was taken back to the police station, she refused to sit down and she spat in an officer's face, which landed in the officer's "mucus membranes in the eyes and mouth".

When sentencing her in July, Justice Koppenol said police officers should not be subject to this sort of treatment while protecting the community.

He also said her child would have been about five months old at the time and that she did not seem to have much consideration for her baby.

Court of Appeal Judge Hugh Fraser reserved the court's decision and said a judgment about whether to reduce her jail time would be handed down on Tuesday.


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