Cougher back in court for another COVID-19 related offence
THE woman at the centre of setting a precedent sentencing in Queensland for people who deliberately cough on police was back in court a week after being sentenced for the offence.
Read more here: First Queenslander to be sentenced for coughing on police
This time, she smashed the glass doors of a Rockhampton nursing home after being denied entry due to having a high temperature - a new measure introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Arwa Valmai Dolar, 43, pleaded guilty on July 9 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one count each of wilful damage, public nuisance, breach bail and assault police officer.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Peter Rumford said Dolar attended the Eventide Home on Campbell St, Wandal, at 12.30pm on July 3 and spoke with staff about visiting her mother for her birthday.
He said she was asked permission for staff to take her temperature before granting entry and Dolar's temperature was higher than the Queensland Health's direction issued due to COVID-19.
Visitors who have a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees are not allowed access to nursing homes.
Snr Constable Rumford said Dolar was asked to wait outside to see if her temperature would drop, due to Dolar having walked to the facility, which could explain the temperature.
He said Dolar went across the street, picked up a brick and concrete and threw it at two glass panels of the nursing home's front door.
"Several residents were there waiting to be served lunch," Snr Constable Rumford said.
He said staff attempted to calm Dolar down and she replied "I'll come back and slit your throat".
Snr Constable Rumford said police later located her on the rear patio of a Cambridge St residence, holding a cup of hot substance.
He said Dolar told police she didn't want to talk to them about Eventide and she was only a witness to the wilful damage.
Snr Constable Rumford said a police officer went to take the hot cup out of Dolar's hands, she snatched it back and threw the contents on the officer with the substance landing on the officer's right thigh.
Defence lawyer Pierre Lammersdorf said Dolar was trying to visit her mother at Eventide.
The court heard on July 2 that Dolar was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when she was 21 and had been paranoid about coronavirus when she felt a police officer 'invade her space' and she deliberately coughed on them after whispering "COVID-19".
She had been sentenced to probation for the cough, and Mr Lammersdorf said she had not yet had the chance to benefit from the probabtion program.
Snr Constable Rumford pointed out Dolar had 10 prior public nuisance convictions, before submitting Dolar should receive a prison term for this latest public nuisance charge.
Mr Lammersdorf pointed out mental illness did not go away in a week and submitted community service as a sentence.
Magistrate Philippa Beckinsale, who also sentenced Dolar for the cough incident, said court appearances were becoming repetitive for the defendant.
"How you could lash out at your mother's nursing home in the way that you did, I'm just floored," she said.
"She is in a vulnerable group. Overseas evidence showed people in that environment (who got coronavirus), they die."
Ms Beckinsale said options were running out for Dolar in terms of sentences that left her in the community.
She sentenced Dolar to 80 hours community service in 12 months for all offences. Convictions were recorded.