Patrisha Hofferts was charged with producing and possessing marijuana, utensils and assaulting a police officer on Monday. Picture: iStock
Patrisha Hofferts was charged with producing and possessing marijuana, utensils and assaulting a police officer on Monday. Picture: iStock

‘I’ve suffered enough’ woman accused of spitting cries

A WOMAN who allegedly spat on a Gympie police officer during a search of her property has been released on bail after spending a night in the watch house.

Patrisha Hofferts, 56, faced the Gympie Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning in custody, after she was arrested Monday night and charged with producing and possessing marijuana, possessing utensils and assaulting a police officer.

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The defendant refused to stand up when Magistrate Chris Callaghan addressed her, said she had mental health issues and had been held against her will in the Gympie watch house overnight.

Mr Callaghan told her that's how most people who are arrested feel and told her to stand up and show respect to the court.

The court then heard Ms Hofferts and her partner, who was also charged, had moved to Gympie only three weeks ago, and were renting a property they found advertised on Facebook.

The owner of the unit found three marijuana plants allegedly planted by the pair, and he asked them to get rid of them.

The court heard the landlord discovered they had been smoking in the unit, and upon returning he found the marijuana plants still there.

He asked Ms Hofferts and her partner to vacate the unit by July 24, and contacted the police, who attended the property and saw the plants on Monday.

They returned the same day with a search warrant and told Ms Hofferts and her partner they were being detained and not to move during the search.

The court heard that police noticed three paper bags on a table, and saw Ms Hofferts move two of them behind a cushion to try to hide them.

As Ms Hofferts reached for the third bag a police officer grabbed it and a brief struggle broke out, and her partner intervened, the court heard.

The police officers arrested Ms Hofferts who allegedly called a female officer "disgusting" and spat into her face, and saliva allegedly landed on the officer's eyes and nose.

In the paperbags were purple marijuana seeds, and police also seized the plants and other drug utensils.

The police prosecutor said during the search Ms Hofferts refused to give her name to police, but they found identification cards in the unit.

The prosecutor objected to Ms Hofferts's bail application and said police believed she was a flight risk, and showed hostility to authorities.

The prosecutor said they believed the woman had no links to Queensland and was likely to flee if released on bail.

The prosecutor also sought to have disease and COVID-19 tests conducted because of the spitting; Ms Hofferts told Mr Callaghan she did not consent to being tested but he ordered them.

Ms Hofferts cried and interrupted the prosecutor and Mr Callaghan throughout the proceeding.

"I've committed no crime, I never spat at police," she said.

"I'm an innocent person.

"Police came into our sacred space.

"Please just let me go home to my doggies.

"I've suffered enough."

Mr Callaghan granted Ms Hofferts bail and said she must report to Gympie Police Station three times a week and must not leave the state.

Ms Hofferts will face the Magistrates Court again on September 9.