Justice for Peter McAulay
Justice for Peter McAulay
Why this petition matters
Queensland police officer Peter McAulay was just doing his job when his dreams and body were shattered by a 16-year-old boy.
While the physical and mental scars will never heal, the constable was today dealt another blow with his attacker set to walk free from jail by Easter.
Constable Peter McAulay and his partner Constable Laura Zillman outside court.Picture: AAPIMAGE
“I’ve got injuries that I’m going to have to deal with for the rest of my life,” Constable McAulay said.
“And then you hear that the sentence is only a year-and-a-half in custody ... yeah, disappointing.”
Const McAulay, then 24, was patrolling Ipswich in September last year when he responded to a call out for the boy’s suspected stolen car.
He deployed stingers across the road to stop the car.
But the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, sped up to about 76 km/h and swerved to avoid the stingers.
He broke too late and struck Const McAulay, who was briefly carried on the vehicle before falling off and hitting his head on the curb.
His long list of injuries were heard in Ipswich Children’s Court as the boy was sentenced.
He suffered severe leg, head, neck and back injuries which required two months in hospital and 10 operations.
His brain was displaced, skull and jaw fractured extensively, teeth separated and knocked out, back broken and a kneecap dislocated.
He will never regain full mobility.
“The impact for Contable McAulay has been catastrophic,” Judge Dennis Lynch QC said.
“It is miraculous that he survived.”
Constable Peter McAulay was injured laying road spikes to intercept a stolen car in 2018.Picture: AAPIMAGE
But Judge Lynch determined the boy did not deliberately hit the officer and was instead attempting to avoid arrest.
He pleaded guilty to a malicious act with intent causing grievous bodily harm, downgraded from an original charge of attempted murder.
He was handed three years in detention, to be released in March next year after serving half his sentence, with time already served.
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said Const McAulay has been handed a “life sentence”.
“To serve three years, and he’ll be out before Easter next year, simply doesn’t cut it,” Mr Leavers told reporters outside court.
“That shows you the value, with the judiciary, of the life of a police officer.
“To say were are disappointed is an absolute understatement.”
After hitting the constable, the boy drove off before crashing.
He was found about a kilometre away and then tried to blame his 15-year-old female passenger.
Although Const McAulay’s goal of becoming a Special Emergency Response Team member is now not possible, he has vowed to continue the long road to recovery.
“It has been tough. Nothing’s ever going to be the same,” he said.
“I couldn’t put on a pair of shoes and socks on my own. That was my goal. I just wanted to put my shoes on, put my socks on and cut my toenails.
“We got there and you set new goals after that.
“I’ve got to learn how to be able to cope with new ways of doing things, and the pain, and just adapt.”