A Unanderra mother-of-six who spat on an Asian woman in a racially-motivated attack at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic has been spared a full-time jail sentence.
Tammie Peters was on parole for unrelated offences when she approached an Asian couple exercising in Tumbling Park in Darling Harbour just after 7am on May 7 this year and began yelling at them.
Peters then threw a coffee cup at the woman, narrowly missing her.
Concerned for their safety, the woman and her husband began moving away from Peters, however she continued walking towards them and raised her clenched fists at the pair, prompting them to fear they were going to be assaulted.
Peters then leaned towards the victim and spat in her direction. The woman tried to move backwards but the saliva landed on the right side of her shirt, in the lower chest area.
The victim and her husband approached police and reported what had occurred.
Officers spoke to Peters, who told them "Um.... I might have [spit] I might have like, talked that way".
Peters then tried to explain her actions further, by saying "I walked up to them, I said 'would you take your ball and game, why don't you go off and f--k off home, with your language and go home, go back to where you came from'," she said.
Peters was arrested and taken to Day Street Police Station where she admitted throwing the cup at the victims "out of anger".
"Like I said earlier, I was still just angry, through my own belief, through beliefs, you know, the city going down and the world going under, over Asia," she said.
"I really don't spit on people, that's the first time I have ever done it and so that was really out of my own mind to do that to someone....out of character."
Police charged Peters with behaving in an offensive manner, common assault and intimidation. She pleaded guilty to the charges in Wollongong Local Court on Friday.
Defence lawyer Joseph Healey said Peters suffered from chronic alcohol abuse along with depression and anxiety. He said her abuse of alcohol fuelled her aggression and she had previously served jail time for matters of violence.
However, he said Peters was now on medication which had made a "substantial difference" in her life and she was getting treatment for her alcohol addiction.
Magistrate Jillian Kiely noted the spitting incident happened "right in midst of COVID 19 pandemic", which she said was of "extreme concern" to the court.
"These people were just trying to undertake exercise in their local park," she said.
"She clearly has some prejudice to people of Asian nationality. This was directed at the victims for no other reason than their race."
Magistrate Kiely placed Peters on a 15-month intensive correction order which includes a condition she attend drug and alcohol counselling.