Woman jailed for stabbing DOCS worker

By RENEE REDMOND

Court Reporter

GRAEME PHILPS believes the woman who attacked his daughter on May 24 last year will reoffend.

Cheryl Leanne Cooper, 32, of Casino, was found guilty of maliciously wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after stabbing Ballina Department of Community Services worker Kylie Ann Philps in the face and back.

Yesterday Cooper was sentenced in Lismore District Court to four-and-a-half years' jail, with a non-parole period of two years nine months, starting from the time of the offence.

Kylie's father, Graeme, would have liked a tougher sentence.

"She (Cooper) could be out in less than two years. It's our daughter who has the lifetime penalty," he said.

Mr Philps said as a result of the incident his daughter took six months off work and has had plastic surgery to her face.

"Every time she passes a mirror she is reminded of what happened to her," he said.

"We're reasonably happy with the verdict. It could have been worse. Life has to go on and we'll try and help our daughter to get back to leading a normal life."

District Court Criminal Judge J W Black said people who deliberately attacked other people with knives committed a serious offence.

Police facts said Cooper, who had been living in her car for two months, had gone to the DOCS office to access her three children aged five, six and seven, but was told the meeting had been arranged for another day that week.

The facts said during the meeting Cooper reached into her boot and produced a small knife, lunging a number of times at Ms Philps, slashing the left side of her face.

Cooper then stabbed Ms Philps three times in the back before other DOCS workers came to her aid.

Cooper's representative, barrister Megan Cusack, said her client was not fully aware of the consequences of her actions.

She said the defendant was reported to be talking in tongues at the police station after the arrest.

"I believe my client has good prospects for rehabilitation. She has now agreed that she does have a mental health problem," she said.



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