The woman held onto a crucifix while she awaited her sentence.
The woman held onto a crucifix while she awaited her sentence.

Offender holds crucifix while being sentenced

AN OFFENDER with a long criminal history was told yesterday it was time to "turn over a new leaf" after being sentenced in Gladstone Magistrates Court.

Samantha Teena Maria Murphy, appearing by video link, held onto a crucifix necklace as she awaited her sentencing.

Murphy pleaded guilty to assault police officer, commit public nuisance, breach of probation, three counts of fail to appear and one other charge.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Carl Spargo told the court Murphy had a long history of similar offences including assaulting a police officer, for which she served nine days' imprisonment in 2018.

The court was told that on November 5 Murphy had thrown punches at a police officer. However the officer was not injured because he stepped back to avoid being hit.

Sen Constable Spargo said Murphy appeared to be affected by drugs during the offending.

The offence occurred just days before a probation order was made for Murphy.

Magistrate Bevan Manthey said Murphy needed to address the issues of behaviour management and drug use.

"I would have had no issue with imprisonment if she had taken this to trial," Mr Manthey said.

Defence lawyer Brandon Selic said his client's health had deteriorated during her time on remand and she had needed to use a ventilator and nebuliser.

Mr Selic said although the assault police officer charge was serious, none of Murphy's blows struck the officer and he didn't suffer anything other than "inconvenience".

Mr Manthey said assaults against police were "inexcusable". "It's a shocking history in terms of fail to appear and breaches of bail," he said.

Murphy was sentenced to six months' imprisonment, to be released this week and suspended for 12 months, and 12 months' probation. Convictions were recorded.

"It's time to turn over a new leaf," Mr Manthey told Murphy.