Generic Queensland Police Service.
Generic Queensland Police Service.

Widow's trauma after identifying dead husband’s body

A WIDOW who had to identify her dead husband's after his body had been submerged in water has struggled to cope.

She appeared in Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday for charges related to an incident at her home on August 20.

Sharon Joan Bell, 51, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a number plate suspected to be stolen, one of contravene police direction and one assaulting a police officer.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Peter Rumford said police were called to a disturbance at a Koongal address on August 20 at 3pm and found Bell uncooperative with police.

He said police located a number plate stolen from the Gold Coast on April 18, 2019, attached to the back wall of Bell's residence.

Sen Constable Rumford said police asked Bell to state her name, which she refused to do for 10-15 minutes.

He said due to her behaviour, Queensland Ambulance Service was called to take her to Rockhampton Hospital under an Emergency Examination Order.

Sen Constable Rumford said when Bell was told she was required to go with QAS to the hospital, she went back inside her house and a police officer grabbed her by the arm to direct her to the ambulance vehicle.

He said Bell then attempted to bite the officer's hand.

Defence lawyer Rowan King said Bell was on a disability support pension for a stress related disorder after having to identify her husband after his body was submerged in water for some time.

He said she has found it difficult to cope with that.

Mr King said Bell collects number plates, usually purchasing them at shops or online, and had not thought to check if this number plate was stolen.

"She had no comprehension why police were there," he said.

Bell told the court the police officer had squeeze her arm and thrown her to the ground.

Magistrate Cameron Press told Bell if she had a complaint about police, there were avenues to do so, but not during this court proceeding.

He warned her if she had actually bitten the officer, she could have been facing a jail term.

Mr Press sentenced Bell to a 10-month probation order and a $250 fine with convictions recorded.


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