McDonald's diners fearful after armed woman makes threats

WORRIED diners at an Ipswich McDonald's called police when a woman, armed with a knife, made gestures to harm herself then began cutting a stuffed toy.

The woman was sitting in the gutter near the fast-food café's playground.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Paul Caldwell told Ipswich Magistrates Court that the incident happened at 1pm on January 20 in Booval.

When officers arrived people pointed out the woman and a knife was found concealed in her top.

Police said the restaurant's customers became fearful because of the woman's behaviour and that she had threatened café staff.

The woman was heard saying; "I will cut your head off and kill you," although she was not armed with the knife at the time.

The woman was told not to swear at the people and police, her language being offensive.

Sgt Caldwell said officers took her to Ipswich Hospital for examination and because of her behaviour had to assist ambulance officers.

The woman, 29, pleaded guilty to possession of a knife in public on January 20 and causing public nuisance.

She also pleaded guilty to charges of wilful damage of police property on January 29 and serious assault of a police officer by spitting.

Sgt Caldwell said in that incident police were called to a seafood shop at Booval and found her outside intoxicated and suffering a mental health episode.

She had been non-compliant with the officers and when put in the rear of the police car spat on a window.

Sgt Caldwell said it had to be forensically cleaned at a cost of $110.

The woman was taken to the hospital and sedated.

She was charged with serious assault because she spat on the forearm of an officer.

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said the woman had little recollection of the incidents and had mental health issues.

The woman said she suffered anorexia, severe depression and at times could be homeless and not always able to afford her medication. She has no family support.

Finding the matters came about due to alcohol and mental health issues, Magistrate Donna MacCallum sentenced her 12 months of supervised probation.

She must pay $110 for the cleaning of the police car window.

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.


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