Woman slammed for spitting on police officers during arrest

A MAGISTRATE has slammed the actions of a Ballarat woman who spat in the face of two arresting police officers, labelling the offending “disgusting and disgraceful”.

Sentencing Tanya Sinnott, 31, in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday, magistrate Cynthia Toose said police officers’ jobs were difficult enough without having to deal with people spitting on them. 

“They (police) don’t go to work to be spat on,” Ms Toose said. “That in itself could impose a jail term.”

The court heard Sinnott had been in the Bridge Mall about 9am on December 10, 2011, when she stole bags from Sports Biz and clothing from Cotton On. 

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Clint Prebble said Sinnott was caught on CCTV cameras in the Bridge Mall three times, each time proving her thefts. 

Senior Constable Prebble said Sinnott became aggressive when a member of the public confronted her and called police. 

Arrested for being drunk, the court heard Sinnott resisted arrest and spat in the faces of the two arresting officers. 

Sinnott pleaded guilty to charges including assault and theft. 

David Tamanika, for Sinnott, said his client had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse and at the time of the offending couldn’t “recall exactly what was going on”.

Mr Tamanika said Sinnott also had a long history of violence committed against her, including an incident in which a man in

Queensland was charged with attempted murder after assaulting her. 

Ms Toose sentenced Sinnott to four months’ jail, suspended for 12 months. 

She was also fined $300.