Spitting at nurse penalised



NOELINE Joyce Barnes was so drunk she could not even remember what she'd done to end up in the back of a police vehicle.

She can't even remember spitting at the nurse who went to her aid when police took her to Rockhampton Hospital.

But the November 2005 incident yesterday landed her in hot water in Rockhampton Magistrates Court when she pleaded guilty to assault.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Darrell Dalton said Barnes spat mucus inside the police vehicle before spitting at the nurse and swearing at him as he tried to assist her.

The nurse refused to help Barnes further. Barnes also pleaded guilty to public nuisance for abusing an elderly pensioner at Centrelink on March 10.

The court hear Barnes had a lengthy criminal history of public nuisance and once spent nine months in prison for assault occasioning bodily harm.

Defence solicitor Shane Studdert said his client had been very drunk when she spat at the nurse and could not remember the spitting incident or even why she was in police custody in the first place.

Magistrate Bronwyn Springer said Barnes' behavior could not be tolerated, handing her a suspended three-month prison sentence. "A nurse who has a tough enough job as it is should not have to be abused by the people they are trying to help.



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