Const. Peter McAulay. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Gosling
Const. Peter McAulay. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Gosling

Decision could be “catalyst” to lock up offenders longer

INSPIRATIONAL Ipswich police officer Peter McAulay believes a court decision could be a "catalyst" to change legislation to put callous offenders behind bars for longer.

The Goodna constable was grievously injured after he was struck by a teenager driving a stolen car in September last year.

In August, the 17-year-old boy was sentenced to three years in a youth detention centre but an Ipswich judge ordered that he serve only half of the sentence.

The Court of Appeal has begun its assessment on whether the sentence was too lenient.

"There was a lot of anger and disgust with the decision," Const. McAulay said.

"A lot of people (are) of the belief that it's not really fair that a year-and-a-half in custody for the injuries that I've sustained (is enough).

"They were sort of hoping for a bit more of a different outcome.

"It could be a catalyst for change of legislation.

"Everyone's been there for me. I've very grateful for the support that I've received. But the support I've received from everyone else doesn't change the decision that the court makes."

Const. McAulay is hopeful of returning to work in a non-operational capacity next year.

Queensland Police Union assistant general secretary Shayne Maxwell said the case had "touched a nerve" of the community.

"I believe we've got a fair hearing," he said.

"I believe there's a good chance that the three Supreme Court judges will increase the sentencing.

"If it still remains the same we can look at legislation because I believe the community wants legislation to change where are offenders are appropriately sentenced."