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No jail for cop biter

Jorjie Shae Peillon.
Jorjie Shae Peillon. Renee Pilcher

RAINBOW Beach police officer Damien Callander quit the force this year.

His retirement came sooner than planned and was triggered by a nightmare run-in with alcohol-fuelled teens at Rainbow Beach on New Year's Eve.

One of those teens - a slightly-built, 18-year-old female - bit and scratched Senior Constable Callander while he was trying to issue a ticket to an underage drinker near Laurie Hanson Park at midnight.

Another person in the group punched and kicked him after he fell to the ground. Police had previously asked the group to move on twice.

Now pregnant and living at Maroochydore out of shame from her actions that night, that teen came within a whisker of going to jail yesterday.

Jorjie Shae Peillon cried throughout most of her court appearances on Tuesday and yesterday morning as she heard of several other cases where biting and spitting on police had led to jail.

She pleaded guilty to seriously assaulting Snr Const Callander and to obstructing him and wilfully damaging his shirt.

She was given five months jail, suspended for two years.

Magistrate Maxine Baldwin also ordered Peillon pay Mr Callander $5000 compensation and perform 100 hours community service.

Police had argued strenuously for Peillon to get actual jail time but Mrs Baldwin said she felt the sentence was deterrent enough.

She did however warn that if Peillon had spat at Snr Const Callander she would have gone to jail, as spitting was considered a premeditated act and contemptuous of the law and society.

Peillon seemed a "good young person" who had made "one very bad mistake", she said.

Mrs Baldwin said she suspected alcohol had affected Peillon's behaviour that night despite her solicitor asserting she had not been drinking.

She fired a broadside at Legal Aid, saying she was "disgusted" by its refusal to represent Peillon despite her youth, clean record and that she could have been jailed.

Mrs Baldwin said Peillon's actions, and the actions of her friends, had had "a very sad lingering and tragic effect" on two families.

Snr Const Callander took early retirement because he "almost reached breaking point" that night.

"This is a tragic loss to the police service, the community and no doubt his family."

Topics:  assault court police rainbow beach

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