Page 2 of 3I was still angry with L but I was absolutely furious with mum for lying to the police. So when she came into my room to say goodnight, I told her to “F… off! How could you throw me under the bus like that! You never loved me at all! She was always your favourite…” Yes, it is true, I threw a big tantrum.
Then L added insult to injury by gloating about how she had “won this one” and I saw red. I poured the cup of tea I was holding over her makeshift bed on the lounge-room floor and said, “Now, you can’t sleep in the lounge-room!”
L then retaliated by throwing her hot cup of coffee over me. Fortunately, L likes a lot of milk in her coffee otherwise I could have been seriously hurt. I raised my cup and for a split second I did consider throwing it at my sister’s head. Of course I didn’t because I’d have to be crazy to do something like that and I’m not crazy. While all this was going on mum went upstairs to bed.
I went back to my room which is next to the lounge-room and found some of the coffee L had thrown at me had landed on my bedroom door and on my bedroom wall. I grabbed a cloth and cleaned it up before returning to the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea. While I was standing there waiting for the kettle to boil, I pushed a soup cup and some cutlery off the kitchen counter. The soup cup broke into pieces and I have to admit that it did feel good to express my anger in a physical way. So I threw some pens and then threw one of those cheap Coca-Cola glasses you get for free when you order a meal at McDonalds. The glass shattered of course, spewing glass over the kitchen counter.
As anyone who knows me can attest, I rarely get angry so when I lost my temper on that night, I knew it would shock mum and L. I yelled from the kitchen, “You want to see temper. I’ll show you what it’s like when I lose my temper!”
When I entered the lounge-room L said something to me about smashing up the kitchen and I replied, “Well it’s better that than stabbing you in your sleep!” (In my mother’s statement to police this became: “I will kill you in your sleep!”)
I returned to my room with a fresh cup of tea and I was calming down when the police arrived a short time later. L had called the police and told them what I had done and the same 3 police officers who had attended earlier that night entered my bedroom and cautioned me. I didn’t lie. I admitted that I lost my temper in the kitchen. I was alone in the kitchen at the time so I didn’t think that it would lead to an arrest and I certainly didn’t think it would lead to a serious charge and an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (AVO).
Spending the Night in Lock-up
Everything I knew about being arrested (which wasn’t much) I got from watching cop shows and reality TV. I remember thinking when they placed me in one of the cells at Campbelltown Police Station, that it was much smaller than I thought it would be. The cell was only about 2 metres wide and 3 metres in length and there’s no mattress, no blanket and no pillow. All you get is a stainless steel bench to sit on. Basically you’re encased in a box consisting of 3 stone walls covered with graffiti and a sheet of perspex glass so the custody sergeant can see everything you’re up to. Which makes me wonder how so much graffiti ended up on those 3 walls because I wasn’t even allowed to have my earrings when they placed me in the cell.
It was about two thirty in the morning and there was only one other prisoner in the cells. He must have been drunk because he was sleeping like a baby and only someone drunk off their ass can sleep in a police cell.
After being alone with my thoughts for a couple of hours, one of the police officers who had brought me in asked if I wanted to be interviewed. I didn’t have a clue how to answer this question. When you’re arrested they tell you that anything you say can be used against you in court but then again, I want the police to hear my side of the story. I also didn’t want anything my mother and sister may have said to the police to go unchallenged. As my mother ages her memory is becoming more and more unreliable and my sister can be pretty vindictive at times. So I said, “Yes. I would like to be interviewed if that’s okay.”
After she told me it would take some time to get everything ready for the police interview, I realised that had I said no, I may have been released from police custody a lot sooner. But while it was tempting to decline the police interview for this reason, in the end I decided it was better to take the opportunity to give them my side of the story. I didn’t end up regretting this decision because had I not been interviewed the police would have added an additional charge of intimidation. I told the police during interview that I didn’t threaten to kill L. What I actually said was: “Well it’s better than stabbing you in your sleep” (referring to the cup and glass I had broken in the kitchen). I also pointed out that when my sister had thrown a cup of hot coffee on me I could have been injured and why didn’t they arrest her for that. Based on what I said in the interview the police decided in their wisdom, not to proceed with the intimidation charge.
I was returned to my cell and a short time later I was formally charged with malicious damage for breaking the soup cup and for pouring tea over my sister’s doona. I had worked for the NSW Police, the Legal Aid Commission of NSW and the Department of Juvenile Justice, so being arrested and charged was a humiliating experience for me. But I continued to hold it together (hang tough) while I was being finger-printed and when the mug-shot was being taken. However, after I was returned to my cell I broke down and cried. Up to this point I was still hoping I wouldn’t be charged. I thought maybe they would give me a caution, maybe a bit of a tongue lashing and then send me home. When they took my mugshot the true gravity of my situation hit me like a tonne of bricks. This is really happening. I’m being charged like a criminal because that’s what they think I am.
I couldn’t believe it when I was given the charge sheet a couple of hours later. Basically, I had been charged for breaking a cup and assaulting a doona. WTF! The police also took out an interim AVO against me and I had to adhere to bail conditions. While the AVO allowed me to remain living at my mother’s house, in effect it meant that I couldn’t argue with my sister anymore, no matter what she does.
I was released from police custody at about 8.15am on 23rd June 2015. I had to walk home…