Alcohol ‘major problem’ for woman who assaulted paramedic, police, nurse
A woman who assaulted a paramedic, a nurse and a police officer in separate incidents later said that she had a major problem with alcohol consumption.
Nearly three years after the first of the drunken incidents, Christine Gillies went before Ipswich Magistrates Court for sentence.
Christine Estelle Gillies, 41, from Atkinsons Dam, pleaded guilty to nine offences including two charges of serious assault/resist public officers while adversely affected by an intoxicating substance; serious assault public officer performing public function by spitting when adversely affected; assaulting a police officer; contravene a police direction; possession of dangerous drugs; possession of drug utensils; and committing public nuisance.
Gillies also wrote a letter to the court, while medical reports were also read by Magistrate David Shepherd.
Prosecutor Sergeant Molinaro said the serious assaults took place in September 2018 against a paramedic and then a nurse at Ipswich Hospital.
“She spat directly at her face. She moved her head and missed most of the spittle on her face,” Sgt Molinaro said.
Gillies was being transported by ambulance to the hospital, with her behaviour described as being volatile and aggressive.
Sgt Molinaro said she was pulling on her seatbelts and began to kick out at the ambulance officer while using profanities.
In a separate incident in February 2019, Sgt Molinaro said Gillies assaulted a police officer.
“She kicked out in the sergeant’s direction. It did not connect,” Sgt Molinaro said.
“She says she drank one and a half bottles of Vodka, and was drinking straight out of the bottle when police officers arrived.”
Sgt Molinaro said there was a previous conviction on her record for assaulting a police officer by spitting in 2015, and a drink driving charge with an alcohol reading of .234 in 2018.
Defence barrister Geoffrey Seaholme said Gillies may have become more aggressive due to medication given by the paramedic when reacting with the alcohol she had consumed.
“There is no doubt she was extremely intoxicated. There is a suggestion her behaviour went to the next level due to medication,” he said.
Mr Shepherd noted Gillies had to be strapped down by paramedics.
“I can candidly say that one of her major problems is her alcohol use,” Mr Seaholme said.
“Her history is reflective of a person who drinks to excess.”
Mr Seaholme said Gillies had been diagnosed with PTSD due to past violence.
Mr Shepherd said he accepted that in the sober light of day Gillies was genuinely remorseful for her conduct.
He said that while alcohol affects judgment it does not provide a basis to reduce the penalty.
Mr Shepherd said it was impossible to say if the administration of medication that day “did or did not influence your conduct”.
“I will proceed on the basis that your conduct was brought about by the consumption of excessive alcohol,” he said.
Gillies was convicted and received concurrent sentences of nine months jail on each of the three serious charges with immediate parole release. She was ordered to complete 40 hours of unpaid community service.
On other charges she received a two-year supervised probation order and must do drug and alcohol programs.