Teenager’s ‘despicable’ act

A Cowra teenager who punched a police officer while under the influence of methamphetamine will spend the next 12 months on probation under the supervision of juvenile justice.

The 16-year-old girl escaped without proceeding to conviction, after appearing at Cowra Children’s Court on Wednesday, but was found guilty on a charge of assault an officer.

On January 10 this year, the girl punched a police officer in the mouth while they were trying to apply handcuffs after a foot pursuit and high speed car pursuit in Coolac. 

The court heard the young person had left home for a “trip” to Gundagai with a group of older people.

The vehicle became involved in a high speed pursuit, ending when it crashed at an intersection in Coolac.

The five occupants of the car led police on short a foot pursuit.

When the offenders were secured, the Cowra teenager refused to be placed in handcuffs.

According to police facts she “lashed out” and punched a senior constable in the mouth and continued to wrestle.

The court heard she was effected by methamphetamine at the time of the offence, about 1.10pm that day.

“It was her first and last time she used the drug methamphetamine,” solicitor Nidal Abdi said.

“She feels a sense of shame of how she acted towards police.

“The drugs were in play on the day in question.”

The police officer sustained minor swelling to their mouth and a laceration to their lip, bruising to the inside of their mouth and the glasses they were wearing were damaged.

Magistrate Michael O’Brien said “acts of violence upon police are to be denounced in the strongest terms by courts”.

“You find yourself, fortunately for you and your mother, emerging unscathed from a car wreck and when police arrive what do you do? You smack them in the mouth,” Magistrate Michael O’Brien said.

“The police have a duty to perform.

“It’s not a pleasant duty because they often have to deal with people who behave like you.

“On this occasion the police could have come upon your lifeless body mangled in a car wreck.”

Magistrate Michael O’Brien labelled her actions as “despicable” and “offensive”.

He noted her history of larceny, aggregated break and enter and possession of prohibited drugs during the sentencing.

“You are approaching adulthood,” he said.

“Your credibility is very low. So far as I am concerned the days of committing an offence like this without receiving a serious consequence, and by that I mean losing your liberty, are drawing to an end.

“You have had numerous warnings for serious offences and have been placed on bonds where you’ve promised not to reoffend and you’ve broken your promise.

“Despite your limited education I’m satisfied that you are sufficiently intelligent to know right from wrong. And that you made choices, deliberate choices to do things you knew were wrong. There is no excuse for it.”

The bond she received for possessing cannabis during June last year was revoked and put back in place for the next 12 months.

She was ordered to report to Bathurst juvenile justice by Wednesday.