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Gladstone police tested for virus after alleged bite assault

ANXIOUS WAIT: Two police officers are being tested for a blood-borne virus.
ANXIOUS WAIT: Two police officers are being tested for a blood-borne virus. Scott Powick

IT COULD take up to six months for two police officers to find out whether they have contracted a blood-borne virus after an alleged assault overnight, a court has been told.

The alleged offender, Rachel Amohanga Davis, applied to be released on bail from the Gladstone watch-house, after she was arrested and charged on Thursday night.

The defendant was charged with one count of committing public nuisance, common assault in a public place while adversely affected by an intoxicating substance, two counts of serious assault by biting or spitting causing bodily harm while adversely affected in a public place and serious assault of a police officer while adversely affected in a public place.

Police were called to the Mercure Hotel at about 7.30pm after reports came in the defendant was allegedly 'creating a disturbance'.

The court heard that upon officers arriving at the scene, the defendant fled to Toolooa St and was found in the supermarket carpark.

A struggle between officers and the defendant ensued; the defendant allegedly punched a female officer in the face twice, and bit her once on the arm and once on the bicep.

The bites drew a pool of blood, the court heard.

The defendant also allegedly bit the other officer, and threw a plastic water bottle at the officers face.

It will be alleged the defendant also spat on officers.

Before the struggle, the defendant was allegedly yelling out random words, stopping drivers in the carpark and abusing the officers.

She allegedly shouted: "You aren't even real cops, you are all (expletive)'s."

Upon her arrest, the injured officers were taken to the Gladstone Hospital.

It was later revealed that not only was the defendant under the influence of the drug ice at the time of the alleged offending, but she had also, at one stage, tested positive for Hepatitis C.

The court heard it could take up to six months for the test to show clear results as to whether either of the officers were infected.

However, defence lawyer Rio Ramos said while her client had tested positive to the virus at one stage in her life, the past five times she had been tested the results came back negative.

Police prosecutor sergeant Barry Stevens said the test results for the officers would likely determine whether the matter would be dealt with in the Magistrates Court, or the District Court.

This meant, if bail was refused by the magistrate, the defendant could spend that amount of time in custody before her matter was heard before a court.

Ms Ramos said her client's mental health would severely deteriorate in that time, and that if she was to be released on bail, would not pose a threat to the community.

"My client's history shows no tendencies of violence, it is mostly dishonesty offences," she said.

"She was under the influence of an intoxicating substance; she was fearful and scared and didn't trust anyone.

"She wants to get off the drugs, she wants to start rehabilitation; if she were to be released on bail she could start those programs."

Sgt Stevens said the officer who received the most injuries from the defendant was a 'five foot two' female officer, and suggested that the officer did not post much of a threat.

He also said the defendant had committed these offences while already on bail for other matters; set to be heard before the court on July 28.

He said the defendant had already been given a chance on bail, and the re-offending showed that she could not be trusted.

Gladstone Magistrate Melanie Ho deemed releasing the defendant back into the public as an 'unnecessary risk'.

Bail was refused; the defendant will appear in the Gladstone Magistrates Court at a later date.

Topics:  gladstonecourt



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