Holiday disaster for drug mum

A GYMPIE mum's family visit to New South Wales ended before it began when drug-affected conduct led to her arrest, Gympie Magistrates Court was told.

Jasminium Veronica Maher, 37, pleaded guilty to obstructing police, assault with bodily harm and creating a public nuisance.

Maher will now have to wait for her release from jail in January before visiting her daughter and grandchild interstate, and then will need parole permission.

The court was told the incident began on July 18 when Maher ran into a Gympie motel office "yelling and abusing staff and a customer" and pushing a staff member.

Later, Maher bit a female staff member, causing bleeding and health concerns, and had to be restrained with handcuffs as she kicked and struggled with police.

On July 20, police said, she still could not be interviewed "due to her high level of intoxication".

Police said Maher had shown "an inability to behave in the community in an acceptable manner".

Maher's solicitor said she recognised the seriousness of the matter.

"She has four children, one in care, two in the care of the father's parents and one adult daughter in New South Wales with a three-month-old baby."

The solicitor said Maher was on drugs because of feelings of loss and had suffered many injuries as a victim of violence.

"Drug use is her main problem. She is ashamed and embarrassed about her conduct,'' he said.

"Her childhood was riddled with homelessness and drug use."

She was cleaning her motel room when a woman came in, an altercation followed and she bit the woman spontaneously.

She was on her way to New South Wales to see her daughter and grandchild.

"This is another chapter in the long-running book which is your stuffed-up life," magistrate M. Baldwin told Maher.

"The circumstances are terrible. Motel staff were confronted by a drug-crazed woman. Why should the average Joe Blow be subjected to this, in particular people being nice to you?

"No one is stuffing the drugs down your throat.

"We're bombarded by cries of 'stop the violence' and people want protection," Mrs Baldwin said.

She sentenced Maher to 18 months' jail with a parole release date on January 20 next year, suspended jail sentences for 18 months from now and $1000 compensation to her victim.

Gympie Times

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