Mum spat on and assaulted Dalby police in ‘appalling’ attack
HEAVILY intoxicated on gin and high on ice, a Bell mother-of-six went on a “tirade of abuse”, attacking police officers in the dead of night, topping off four months of spiralling after her children were removed from her care.
Stacey Mary Hill cried in Dalby Magistrates Court when police bodycam footage showed her spit on and scratch a police officer near the Warrego Highway as they made attempts to arrest her.
What started her “significant spiral” was an incident in her own front yard at the beginning of the year.
Police prosecutor senior constable Jodie Tahana told the court on January 29, Hills’ neighbour arrived home and saw Hill coming towards him while he sat in the car.
The court heard Hill then proceeded to walk up to her neighbour’s car while holding a meat cleaver.
Snr const Tahana said Hill believed the victim had reported her dogs to council, and hit the side of the car with the meat cleaver, causing a dent.
She told the victim, “I will burn your house down”, “I will make your life a living hell” and
“You don’t know who you’re f---ing with”.
On February 3, Hill refused to participate in an interview with police.
Three months later, on April 11, Dalby police were conducting patrols at 12.20am when they saw Hill stumbling down Charles Street before she tripped and fell into the gutter.
When police approached her they found she had no handbag with her and was not wearing shoes.
When asked, she admitted to police that she was drunk on gin and had taken methylamphetamines, before police attempted to pick her up off the ground.
Snr const Tahana told the court she was “flailing” on the ground, and was “erratic with her speech and movement”.
Police told the defendant they wouldn’t leave her as they had concerns for her safety and wellbeing, so she began running towards Drayton Street.
While attempting to catch up with her, police said she was “acting aggressively” and exhibiting “volatile behaviour”.
The court heard senior constable Davidson placed Hill under arrest and while police attempted to take her to the police car, she started dragging her feet on the ground.
Bodycam footage of the incident was played in court where Hill can be heard yelling, wretching, and calling police officers “f---ing mutts”.
Snr constable Tahana described the following incidents as a “tirade of abuse” towards police officers.
While Hill was being detained, she turned her head to the right and spat saliva and phlegm on snr const Davidson, which was visible on his forearm.
She went on to scratch snr const Davidson, drawing blood on his elbow.
In the bodycam footage he can be heard saying “let go of my arm and stop scratching”.
When placed on the bonnet of the car, Hill kicked behind her twice, the second time striking snr const Davidson in the left upper thigh.
Hill struck the bonnet of the car with her head twice before she was placed in the police car.
On the way to the Dalby station, she continued to spit and smack her head on the perspex divider.
By the time they arrived at the Dalby station, she was bleeding from the mouth and nose.
She turned her head to the right inside the station, and spat on an assisting officer, which likely included blood in what landed on the officer’s arm.
Hill had to be sedated by paramedics and was transported to Dalby Hospital.
When she woke eight hours later, she was subject to a drug and alcohol test where she tested positive for having methylamphetamine in her system, and her BAC was 0.015.
Her intoxication was in breach of the bail order she was placed on in January that required her to consume no drugs or alcohol.
She later admitted to police that she had consumed half a bottle of gin and one point of methylamphetamine.
In her right pant pocket, police located a clip seal bag with a white crystal substance weighing less than one gram, and a small scoop.
Snr const Tahana said there was little risk of communicable disease transmission from the spitting and scratching, and the officers in question did not have to undergo disease testing.
Hill was subject to disease testing, however the test returned a negative reading.
In her submissions, snr constable Tahana recommended a term of imprisonment between six and eight months, which magistrate Tracy Mossop remarked was “very kind” of the officer.
Defense lawyer Claire Graham told the court Hill had experienced a “significant spiral in her substance abuse” since her six children were taken out of her care after the incident in January.
Ms Graham said her client had a long history with self harming, which started when she was 15.
The court also heard when she was 18, Hill doused herself in methylated spirits and set herself on fire, and when she was 19, her father took his own life.
Ms Graham said Hill’s substance abuse was consistent with her relationships, and had only dabbled in drugs because previous partners had as well.
She had battled an addiction to drugs before her children were born, but went clean for several years before these incidents.
Ms Graham said her client had been feeling “useless” and “hopeless” since her children were removed from her care.
Ms Graham said Hill also made attempts to apologise to the officers she abused while she was in custody, and had been hospitalised twice for her mental health since the incidents occurred.
Since child safety had become involved, Hill was required to participate in mandatory drug testing which showed she had been clean from drugs for the past four weeks.
Her most recent drug test was at 8.17am before her sentencing, which came back with a negative reading.
Hill had also graduated from a no-contact order with her children to weekly contact visits.
Despite Ms Graham saying her client showed genuine remorse for her actions and showed prospects of rehabilitation, she did acknowledged that the offences did “warrant a sentence of imprisonment”.
Ms Mossop described Hill’s behaviour as “appalling”.
“It would be really good if all the public could see that footage and see what our police officers go through when they deal with people like you,” she said to Hill.
“I hope you are ashamed and embarrassed at your conduct.”
Ms Mossop said it was to Hill’s credit that she made admissions to police about her conduct and drug and alcohol use, and her early guilty plea was a strong mitigating factor.
Ms Mossop said Hill was someone who would need to be under the supervision of a psychologist for a long time, and credited her for remaining clean for four weeks.
“You do not need to be damaged goods if you want to be a functioning mother to your children,” she said.
“I hope you’ve done it for your children, not just for court today.”
Ms Mossop said she hoped the body cam footage would remain “embedded” in Hill’s mind.
Hill pleaded guilty to public nuisance and wilful damage from January 29.
She also pleaded guilty to the events of April 11: assaulting a police officer, obstructing a police officer, serious assault of a police officer by biting or spitting, serious assault of a police officer by biting, spitting etc. while adversely affected in a public place, possessing property suspected of having been used in connection with the commission of a drug offence, and breaching a bail condition.
Hill was sentenced to eight months imprisonment released immediately on parole, and 40 hours of community service to be completed over eight months.
Convictions were recorded.