Warrnambool woman fights jail for fourth breach

A WARRNAMBOOL woman with a record of breaching intervention orders is trying to avoid prison time after breaching a fourth suspended jail sentence.

Michelle Bernadette McLaren, 41, of Banyan Street, appeared in Warrnambool Magistrates Court for a contest mention hearing, charged with twice breaching an IVO and assaulting police.

The court heard that she had previously avoided serving suspended sentences three times by presenting exceptional circumstances as to why she should not be jailed.

Her offending usually involved contacting her ex-partner or his wife in breach of long-standing intervention orders.

A four-month jail term was suspended for 12 months in February last year after Ms McLaren pleaded guilty to assaulting the same woman.

Police said that on March 25 last year, McLaren arrived at The Cally Hotel as her ex-partner’s wife was leaving with her son and a friend.

Ms McLaren is alleged to have called out an inappropriate comment before telling the woman she had better look out for herself, despite there being an intervention order in place.

On May 10 last year Ms McLaren was alleged to have been intoxicated when she contacted the woman by telephone. Then on November she was being involuntarily detained in a mental health facility when she told police officers she did not like the police. She then absconded but was returned to the hospital, continually abusing a police officer.

The accused allegedly threatened to spit on the policewoman, then kicked her to the stomach and told her she would get her.

Ms McLaren admitted to some of the offending but denied she was involved in an incident at The Cally.

Magistrate Ron Saines said some of the offending involved reduced moral culpability.

The case was adjourned for a further hearing on May 9.

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