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Qld: Woman assaults police after "breaking" into own car

By David Barbeler
Mon Jul 6 19:23:40 EST 2009

BRISBANE, July 6 AAP - A Brisbane woman seriously assaulted a police officer after he tried to arrest her for breaking into her own car, a court has heard.

Jennifer Elizabeth Somers, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of serious assault, two counts of obstructing police and one count of public nuisance in the Brisbane District Court on Monday.

The court heard that in the early hours of a Sunday morning in November 2007, a heavily intoxicated Somers was looking through her unlocked car for cigarettes in Koala Street, Moorooka, in Brisbane's south.

The court heard two police constables, Peter Lashford and Wendy Poon, responded to a call that a woman had broken into a car in the area.

After some initial uncooperative behaviour and swearing, the court heard, Somers gave the officers her full name, claiming she was the owner of the car, but could not produce identification.

The court heard a verbal disagreement between Constable Poon and Somers broke out, before Const Poon tried to arrest Somers as she did not believe she was the car's owner.

Somers resisted arrest and when placed in a headlock by Constable Lashford, she bit him on the biceps, the court heard.

Defence lawyer Harry Fong said Const Lashford then shouted out "I've been bitten, the bitch has bitten me".

Const Lashford wrote in his victim impact statement to the court that the bite had drawn blood, although a Mater Hospital medical report said the skin had not been broken.

He was cleared of contracting any diseases.

Mr Fong said his client was a charity worker and a single mother of two children, one of which was in need of constant attention.

In his sentencing, Judge Terry Martin said that while the police officers involved could have handled the situation better, they had a tough job and deserved the support of the courts.

Judge Martin also highlighted Somers' criminal history, which contained several police obstruction and assault offences in 2002 and 2004.

He sentenced Somers to four months imprisonment, but released her on parole immediately.