Jail for setting alight police car
A PREGNANT woman who set fire to a police car, spat at officers and urinated on a straitjacket while in the padded cell has been sent to jail.
Tanya Kay Atkins, 27, who has a history of assaulting police and making a naked nuisance of herself, was yesterday convicted of 18 charges in the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court.
Dressed in her prison greens, a subdued Atkins, who is seven months pregnant, appeared via videolink from the Brisbane Women's Prison to answer to the various charges, including drink-driving, assaulting and obstructing police, wilful damage and stealing.
The court heard that when she was arrested on August 4, after stripping her clothes off in front of a stranger, she set fire to the interior door of a police car with a lighter believed to have been concealed "internally".
The policeman driving the car had to stop when he saw smoke and flames coming from the back seat. The fire caused $1338 worth of damage.
Earlier that night, Atkins showed up on a random doorstep, knocking loudly and called out abuse in her search for someone who didn't live there.
The resident told a dishevelled Atkins that the person she was looking for was not there. Atkins then began to undress, so the concerned stranger invited her inside before calling police.
When police showed up Atkins was wearing the homeowner's thongs and a baseball cap belonging to the woman's son. She also had the boy's school bag.
After resisting arrest and abusing police all the way back to the watchhouse, she spat at one officer and had to be placed in a spit hood. She was later placed in the padded cell, where she urinated on a straitjacket and threw it across the room.
Three days later, she was back on the police radar when she caused a scene at the Hervey Bay Hospital, spat on the floor and was refused treatment by a doctor, who feared for the safety of his staff. Magistrate Tom Killeen said Atkins needed to continue taking her prescribed medication.
"It's very important in the future, if you want to keep out of jail, you've got to take your medication and keep away from alcohol and illegal drugs," he said.
He sentenced her to jail terms for each of the charges, but ordered a parole release date of November 1, this year.
For two drink-driving offences in July, at which time she blew.103% and .123%, and a further unlicensed driving charge, Atkins was disqualified for three years. Her 61 days in custody since her arrest will be counted as time served.