A HAMILTON alcoholic with a shocking history of abusing police has been given just over six months to get off alcohol or she will be jailed.
Antoinette Christian, 41, previously received a combined sentence of 28 days’ imprisonment in Hamilton Magistrates Court on June 27 this year on a charge of behaving in an offensive manner.
Christian had been sentenced to 90 days’ imprisonment with 14 to be served immediately and the remainder suspended for two years.
The offence had also breached another suspended jail sentence and an extra 14 days was added to her immediate sentence, making a total effective sentence of 28 days.
Christian appealed against the severity of the sentence which was heard in Warrnambool County Court last week.
The court was told that on February 2 this year, Hamilton police were called after a distressed woman was seen carrying a shovel.
Police found Christian in Kenna Avenue where she was unsteady on her feet. She had gone to the rear of a property and tried to enter the home but was refused entry because the people who lived there did not know her.
Christian, who was drunk, then continually swore at and abused police and after being given every opportunity to be taken home, she was arrested. Even when she was released after being lodged in the cells for four hours, Christian swore at and abused a policewoman.
The original offences for which Christian received her suspended sentence, committed on June 14 last year, involved similar circumstances.
Defence counsel Sean Kenny last week said Christian had been an alcoholic since she was 14 but when her two youngest children were taken off her last year, she resolved to stop drinking. She went through a seven-day detoxification program but left the residential rehabilitation unit so she could be with her young son.
The court heard from a counsellor that since being involved in the Odyssey House program, Christian had only once had one drink.
Judge Mark Taft said Christian had received a number of community-based orders in the past to address alcohol issues but she had breached them all. Judge Taft said that a few months was not proof in the pudding and the pudding needed to be baked.
He said there needed to be substantial evidence, not hope.
“I want runs on the board. This is a chance to get off the grog and make a true commitment or this court has no choice but to activate the suspended sentence,” he said.
Sentencing was deferred until March 8 next year.