Mum punished for rescuing horses from fire
A WOMAN has been sentenced for her actions while trying to save her daughters and a community's horses from a "disastrous" bushfire.
A court heard Fiona Kim Hills, 49, yelled at police officers and drove past a roadblock on Lake Cooroibah Rd as a fire burned near Cooroibah on November 8.
An immediate evacuation of the area was underway and police told Hills she wasn't allowed through to the exclusion zone where her daughters and horses were waiting for her to collect them.
"The defendant then walked back to her vehicle and horse float that was at the edge of the road, drove over the east and westbound marked lanes of McKinnon Drive, stopped in front of the orange cones and the defendant was blocking both lanes at that stage causing traffic congestion," police prosecutor Melissa Campbell told Noosa Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
"The reporting officer directed the defendant to drive away from this intersection immediately as she was blocking all traffic using the road.
"The defendant has refused to give way as directed."
Senior Sergeant Campbell said Hills then drove over the orange cones and stopped in front of a police officer standing in the middle of the northbound lanes
"The police officer, with both his hands in the air, repeatedly told the defendant to turn around and leave the area immediately," Sen-Sgt Campbell said.
"The defendant has said no and shunted forward three times, each time forcing the police officer backwards.
"The police officer has hit the front window of her vehicle with both hands and yelled at her continuously to stop and to leave the area."
Hills drove off towards her Cooroibah home to move her horses and her children to safety.
At Noosa Magistrates Court on Tuesday, Hills pleaded guilty to contravening a direction of police and obstructing a police officer.
Lawyer Glenn Wood said Hills was carrying out a fire evacuation plan she had in place to take the horses to the pony club at Tewantin during the "disastrous" fire.
"She also has a large acreage which was a gathering point for other horse owners because she was the only person who had sufficient property so they had water in the middle in case disaster happened, then the horses would be relatively safe," he said.
"She made two evacuations with seven horses to the pony club and she told her two daughters with the final two horses 'wait there until I get back' because obviously everybody was scared.
"She was within a kilometre of her house and of course in her heart, her daughters were there, her horses were there and the officer was refusing to let her through."
Mr Wood said Hills wasn't excusing her actions but asked that Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist consider the extenuating circumstances.
Mr Stjernqvist said this type of confrontation between police and locals occurred often.
"Locals probably have a better idea of what's going on, as you did, obviously," he said.
Hills was given a 10-month good behaviour bond of $800 and the conviction was not recorded.