A Broome woman has been jailed for 12 months for a drunken vicious assault on a police officer in December.

Marrawana Keillor, 26, pleaded guilty in Broome Magistrate’s Court this morning via video link to assaulting a public officer in aggravated prescribed circumstances – being armed with a dangerous weapon and caused bodily harm.

An assault on an officer causing bodily harm carries a mandatory six-month jail sentence.

The incident was the 38th assault to occur last year on Broome’s 40-strong police force.

The court was told officers attended a drunken disturbance at units in Guy Street about 10pm on December 4.

Prosecutor Senior Sergeant Matt Barker said Keillor became aggressive when approached by the 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 treated for bruising to her jaw.

Defence lawyer Haley Allen told the court Keillor did not recall details of the offence, and had been drinking prior to the incident.

The court was told Keillor had used alcohol to “self medicate” following the loss of two family members, but conceded she needed help with her grief.

Ms Allen said Keillor was “genuinely remorseful” for her actions, and wrote a letter to the officer expressing her remorse.

Sen. Sgt. Barker described the incident as an “unprovoked assault” and “cowardly” act.

District Superintendent Mick Sutherland said the mandatory jail legislation was implemented to protect police while they carried out their duties and reiterated that police officers were not a “punching bag” for the community.

“It is fitting this person goes to jail.”

WA Police Officers 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 three months on top of the mandatory term is a good outcome.”

Mr Tilbury said police officers often felt “let down” by the judiciary in regards to sentencing, but said the result was “very encouraging”.

The West Australian

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