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Woman who 'drove at cops' claims sentence was too harsh

A KINGSTHORPE woman who was jailed last year after deliberately driving at a police officer while she was drunk and with young children in the back seat has appealed her sentence in the state's highest court.

Melinda Anne McCoy, 51, pleaded guilty last year in the Toowoomba District Court to the serious assault of a police officer and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while adversely affected by alcohol stemming from an incident on March 24, 2012, near Charlton.

She was jailed for 30 months, but the sentencing judge ordered her release on parole on May 3 this year after she had served 13 months of the sentence.

But McCoy took her fight to the Queensland Court of Appeal on Thursday, claiming her sentence was manifestly excessive.

Defence barrister Julie Sharp told the court the sentencing judge had erred because he did not give enough weight to her early guilty plea and the remorse she showed.

She said subsequently there had been an error in sentencing.

"We submit that the sentence should be suspended after she served 10 months not 13 months," she said.

"The sentence overall is manifestly excessive and the head sentence is unusually high."

Crown prosecutor Belinda Merrin said the sentencing judge had not made an error and was well within his rights to hand down the sentence he did after considering all the facts.

She said while the guilty plea may have been early, the sentence was contested and a number of witnesses were required to give evidence.

"It cannot be said the head sentence was set too high," she said.

"Her offending caused serious injuries to the police officer. He went over the bonnet of the car, over the roof and was flung many metres from where he was initially struck.

"She was significantly intoxicated and deliberately drove at the officer.

"His honour was well within his rights to hand down the sentence he did."

The Court of Appeal reserved its decision.

- APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  court crime police toowoomba


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