A Ballarat man jailed for four-and-a-half years over a violent altercation with police officers following a neighbourhood dispute has had his sentenced reduced.
Paul Tierney, 54, and co-accused Kiki Harris, 37, were involved in the incident outside their Kline Street home in Ballarat East on February 21, 2018.
On Wednesday, County Court Judge Paul Lacava overturned a ruling made in the Ballarat Magistrates Court in October, sentencing Tierney to three years in jail with a non-parole period of two years.
Co-accused Harris, who had no prior convictions, was sentenced to 18 months in jail for her part in the altercation which included striking a police officer with a wooden plank and biting another on her arm, drawing blood.
Tierney, who had prior convictions for violence, tried to snatch the male police officer’s gun out of his holster in the struggle, threatened to kill him and headbutted another officer.
The judge said something had gone wrong in the Magistrates Court sentencing process.
"It seems to me that the court below may have went awry with the sentencing process," Judge Lacava said.
The ordeal started about 11.30pm on February 21 when police officers were called to the Ballarat East address after Tierney smashed a neighbour’s windows and made threats to kill earlier in the day.
The court heard two police officers, a female leading senior constable and a male senior constable, arrived at the neighbour’s home to inspect the broken windows, finding Harris and Tierney standing in their driveway across the street.
The pair refused to speak to them before aggressively resisting arrest, with Harris striking the male officer with a wooden plank and biting the female officer on her arm, drawing blood.
Tierney tried to snatch the male police officer’s gun out of his holster in the struggle, telling him "I am going to f***ing kill you, you c***. You will see".
Tierney and Harris, who were alcohol affected, were eventually apprehended after police backup arrived.
Defence barrister John Lavery told the court the Magistrates Court sentence was in excess given his client had a limited recent criminal history, the sentence was different to Harris' and the attack was not planned.
Tierney had pleaded guilty to six charges, including threatening to kill, intentionally causing injury, assaulting an emergency worker on duty and resisting an emergency worker on duty.
Judge Lacava said it was inappropriate to assault police officers at this level.
"Being a police officer is one of the hardest jobs in the world, I reckon. They shouldn't have to put up with this rubbish," he said.
Tierney has already served 385 days in pre-sentence detention, which the judge declared as time already served.