A Broome woman has been jailed for 12 months for a drunken assault on a police officer in December.Marrawana Keillor, 26, pleaded guilty in Broome Magistrate’s Court last Tuesday via video link to assaulting a public officer in aggravated prescribed circumstances — being armed with a dangerous weapon and causing bodily harm.
An assault on a police officer causing bodily harm carries a mandatory six-month jail sentence. The incident was the 38th assault last year on Broome’s 40-strong police force.
The court was told officers attended a drunken disturbance at units in Guy Street at about 10pm on December 4.
Prosecutor Senior Sergeant Matt Barker said Keillor became aggressive when approached by a policewoman and hit her over the head with a wine bottle, before repeatedly punching her in the face and jaw.
The officer was taken to Broome Hospital and received five stitches to her head and treatment for bruising to her jaw.
Defence lawyer Haley Allen told the court Keillor, who had been drinking before the incident, did not recall details of the offence.
Ms Allen said Keillor had used alcohol to “self medicate” after the loss of two family members, but conceded she needed help with her grief.
She said Keillor was “genuinely remorseful” for her actions and had written a letter to the police officer expressing her remorse.
Sen. Sgt. Barker described the incident as an unprovoked assault and a cowardly act.
District Superintendent Mick Sutherland said the mandatory jail legislation was implemented to protect police while they carried out duties, and he reiterated that police officers were not a “punching bag” for the community.
“It is fitting this person goes to jail,” he said.
WA Police Union president George Tilbury said the assault was inexcusable and unprovoked.
“We want to make it crystal clear that there is no excuse for assaulting a police officer and if someone does, which results in bodily harm, they will go to jail,” he said.
“The sentencing in Broome today will send a clear message to the community that this type of thuggery is unacceptable.
“I applaud the magistrate for taking this assault seriously and imposing more than the minimum mandatory prison sentence that this charge would trigger. An extra six months on top of the mandatory term is a good outcome.”Mr Tilbury said police officers often felt let down by the judiciary in regard to sentencing, but this result was “very encouraging”.