A woman has been sentenced after she rummaged through COVID-19-infected bins in a restricted area, assaulted members of the public, drove a light truck towards oncoming traffic on Canberra’s central street, plus more.
Court documents say on 7 March 2022, Kira Lee Meagher took her large Alsatian dog into a restricted section of the Australian National University campus called a ‘red zone’ that was being used to quarantine people infected with COVID-19.
She was spotted rummaging through bins with infectious material and when she was asked to leave she spat onto a woman’s chest.
Shortly afterwards, she pulled a star picket out of the ground and wielded it as if she was going to hit a man who was asking her to go.
She put it down, but picked up a garden hose and sprayed the man with water.
Meagher walked off, smashing a window as she did, but then in a nearby carpark grabbed a man who was sitting in his car and said, “I will kill you if you fight back, I will stab you”.
The man fled and she hopped inside his car with her dog then started sounding its horn before police arrived.
When an officer tried to arrest her, she kicked him in the chest, ran to a rock wall on Liversidge Street and tried to climb it even though there was a 15-metre drop on the other side, but was eventually detained.
Later, about 5:30 am on 1 July 2022, police saw her driving a Hino light truck on the wrong side of the road towards oncoming traffic on Northbourne Avenue, causing other road users to take evasive action, before mounting the footpath and crashing into a tree.
Prosecutor Colin Balog argued Meagher’s crimes were aggravated by how she had breached an 18-month good behaviour order (GBO) and said there was a high degree of similarity between her previous and fresh offending, including how they involved methamphetamine.
Last December, she was handed the GBO after pleading guilty to a robbery in which she crashed into her victim’s car, stole his keys, jumped into his vehicle and drove off.
Meagher’s lawyer, Carley Hitchins of Aulich, said her client felt terrible about what she had done and had so far spent a total of 135 days in custody over all of her recent charges.
She pleaded guilty to charges of assault, damaging property, trespassing, minor theft and furious, reckless or dangerous driving.
Magistrate James Stewart said it was impossible to separate the mental illness that was an underlying factor in her life from her self-induced meth intoxication.
He imposed the remainder of the suspended sentence for last year’s robbery, which was 95 days, and sentenced her to 42 days’ jail for the first series of fresh offences as well as a four-and-a-half month intensive corrections order for the second series.
As her time in jail was backdated, she can leave custody on 9 September. She was also disqualified from driving for 18 months.
After handing down his sentence, Magistrate Stewart told Meagher that if not for the intervention of a police officer, she would have fallen off a long drop, which was “no good outcome”.
“You’re a precious member of our community and we can’t afford to lose you,” he said.
“There’s a real repetition of what you’re doing.
“It’s got to stop before you harm yourself or somebody else.”
Meagher could be seen wiping her eyes before she was led out of the courtroom by guards.