Constable Chris Hayes feared he had contracted hepatitis C after a woman with the disease spat blood on him during an incident this year.
Constable Chris Hayes feared he had contracted hepatitis C after a woman with the disease spat blood on him during an incident this year. Melinda Siegmeier Ms

Blood spitter had hepatitis

WHEN Christine Ann Rowan spat large amounts of blood at two police officers she was infected with hepatitis C and other STDs.

Constables Chris Hayes and Lauren O’Hanlon did not know this at the time but were left feeling disgusted and with a six-month wait to see if they too had contracted the potentially deadly disease.

This shocking information was yesterday revealed in the Rockhampton District Court after a jury had found Rowan, 46, guilty of serious assault on the two officers.

The jury was not aware of her disease during the two-day trial.

The incident occurred after Constables Hayes and O’Hanlon were called to a disturbance in Campbell Street on January 3 this year.

They ran into a dark room ready to break up a disturbance.

Lying on the floor of the unlit room was Rowan, who had just been smashed in the face with a shovel.

As she stood up she shouted that she would kill someone and started walking from the room.

Constable Hayes tried to stop her by grabbing her with one arm.

She retaliated; a small scuffle occurred and during that process blood and saliva was spat at both officers, landing on their face, arms and clothing.

Rowan eventually had to be physically carried from the residence, only to be refused treatment by ambulance because of her abusiveness.

Defence barrister Ross Lo Monaco had told the jury Rowan’s spitting wasn’t intentional it was only a reaction of her severe injury.

Rowan suffered a deep cut to her mouth and lost three teeth from the earlier attack.

Mr Lo Monaco said Rowan was intoxicated at the time, but it was not in her nature to spit on anyone.

Rowan was sentenced to six months prison to be released after serving one month.

Both Constable Hayes and O’Hanlon have since been cleared of contracting any diseases.



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