Glamorous barista turns cop-biting meth addict
A 20-year-old Brisbane barista was sentenced to a suspended term of imprisonment at the Pine Rivers Magistrates Court on Friday following a rapid descent into methamphetamine-induced madness.
The court heard Renee McFarland had only been using methamphetamines for a short period of time when, on July 23, she barricaded herself behind furniture in her home and violently assaulted police.
Police prosecutor sergeant Chelsea Ham said police were called to reports of McFarland "burning herself with cigarettes" and "hitting herself" at her home at Mango Hill.
When the officers arrived, McFarland struggled violently to escape arrest, headbutting the ground with the back of her head, kicking an officer in the stomach, another in the right thigh, and attempting to bite a third.
"I'll f*****g bite you if I f*****g want to, you pig," McFarland told one of the officers, according to Sgt Ham.
"You're a f*****g ugly pig c**t."
The Queensland Ambulance Service arrived on scene to sedate McFarland and she was detained for an emergency examination at Redcliffe Hospital.
The incident was read out in the courtroom as it directly mirrored the events that occurred on December 27, when McFarland was charged with an additional three counts of serious assault of a police officer.
She was on probation for the earlier offences at the time.
At 10.24am police arrived at the home to find McFarland had barricaded herself in the bathroom.
It took three police officers to open the door and once inside McFarland attacked.
According to Sgt Ham, McFarland bit one of the officers on the right knee, pushed another into a towel rail causing them to fall into the bath, kicked the officers on their legs, and bit another officer on the left hand.
None of the bites broke the skin due to protective clothing.
Attempts to restrain McFarland by pulling her down to the floor proved problematic as McFarland then began to hit her head against the tiles.
Paramedics arrived on scene to sedate McFarland and transport her to Redcliffe Hospital for an emergency examination.
The young woman was medically cleared with doctors stating her actions were behavioural and not due to mental illness.
She was transported to prison, where she remained in custody for 33 days, until her hearing on January 29.
McFarland pleaded guilty to the charges.
Defence Lawyer Shaun Kolo told the court McFarland had a "significant methamphetamine addiction" that progressed from first try, to using up to a gram in a single session, within days.
The rapid escalation of addiction had meant the Clontarf State School alumnus lost her employment as a shift supervisor at a local cafe and prevented her from following her dreams to study to become a nurse.
Prison time was a "wake-up call" for McFarland, who was able to detox from the drug and learn from the harrowing experiences of other inmates, Mr Kolo said.
Magistrate Melanie Ho sentenced McFarland to 12 months imprisonment for each of the three assault charges, to be served concurrently and immediately suspended for two years.
Convictions were recorded.
"You've done it hard," Ms Ho said.
"If you're going to move on with your life you need to get off drugs and make wise choices."
Originally published as Glamorous barista turns cop-biting meth addict