A woman who hindered police attempts to arrest two men in June cried and was comforted by family members when a video recording of the incident was shown in Orange Local Court on Monday.
Magistrate David Day told Shannon Johnson, 37, of Orange and formerly of West Wyalong, that he was considering sending her to jail until her solicitor John Song explained why she reacted the way she did.
Instead of a jail sentence, Mr Day convicted Johnson and gave her a two-year community-correction order with supervision for hindering police at Murrin Bridge, north-west of West Wyalong on June 11.
Johnson was also convicted and given a 12-month community release order for behaving in an offensive manner.
Police were out there doing their job bringing someone into custody for a domestic violence offence.Magistrate David Day
“[Police] were out there doing their job bringing someone into custody for a domestic violence offence,” Mr Day said.
Mr Song said the police were called to Murrin Bridge due to a report of the suspected domestic violence incident when Johnson hindered their attempts to arrest a suspect, and then her partner.
Mr Song said Johnson and her partner were concerned that the suspect was going to be bashed by police when he was led through a vacant block.
“They didn’t see the standard procedures taking place, there was some concern and suspicion around it,” he said.
According to police, officers were escorting the suspect on foot when he allegedly attempted to strike the police so he was arrested and taken to the ground and while police were trying to handcuff him Johnson and her partner arrived and began yelling and screaming at the officers.
MAP: Police went to Murrin Bridge to arrest a man and the situation got out of control …
After police handcuffed the first man and led him to the police vehicle they went to arrest Johnson’s partner and she became more agitated.
She continued yelling and screaming, refused to get back while police were trying to handcuff the man on the ground and at one point wrapped her arms around his head and upper body.
“From Ms Johnson there was further concern from a previous incident where [her partner] had a cardiac arrest,” Mr Song said.
Her behaviour attracted a crowd of about 40 people who also yelled at police, some people used rocks and pieces of timber to damage the police vehicle.
According to the police had Johnson not become involved, the “public order incident”, the damage to the police vehicle, would not have occurred.
An onlooker filmed the police during the second arrest and it was that video that was used in court.
Mr Song said his client and her family have recently moved to Orange so they could get better access to medical services.
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