But that was all it took. As the Constable relaxed his grip on his accused attacker, she lunged and allegedly bit him on his penis.
"I felt an excruciating pain on the end of my penis and as I looked down she had her head over the top of my groin and she was biting," Constable Jennings told the Maroochydore District Court on the Sunshine Coast yesterday.
He was giving evidence on the first day of trial proceedings against Maria Klaus, 38, of Maroochydore, who is facing two counts of serious assault of a police officer while he was executing his duties. Ms Klaus has pleaded not guilty to both charges.
The tale of the violent end to Constable Jennings’s call out to a domestic disturbance in a block of units about 5.30pm on June 12 last year was related to the court by Crown Prosecutor John Allen in his opening address to the jury.
The court was told that Constable Jennings and his partner, Senior-Constable Leonie Scott, were invited to enter the Beach Parade unit by a man, Kevin Hughes, believed to be Ms Klaus’s partner. There they met a wet, aggressive Ms Klaus – wearing only a towel – as she apparently emerged from the shower.
Constable Jennings, 43, said Ms Klaus became agitated when asked to put on some clothes while she talked to police and had shoved Mr Hughes when he suggested she calm down.
Constable Jennings said as he stepped between Ms Klaus and Mr Hughes, Ms Klaus grabbed the arm of a three-year-old girl who had appeared and swung her to the floor behind her.
He told the court that when the little girl got up and Ms Klaus repeated the action he stepped forward to restrain her.
"Klaus started to punch and kick and that sort of stuff and the towel just got dragged off . . . she was wet and she was naked and I couldn’t get a grip anywhere," he said.
Constable Jennings said at one point Ms Klaus had him clutched tightly by his collar and tie. She was headbutting him, trying to bite his face and head and "gnashing her teeth and at some point she bit my left forearm".
"She was yelling at me that she was going to get my balls."
Constable Jennings told the court he had sustained a cut lip, a chipped tooth, bruised shoulder and bitten forearm. The court heard that eventually the two officers handcuffed Ms Klaus, who continued to refuse to put clothes on.
Constable Jennings said as he looked up to see where to guide Ms Klaus into the police van, she bit him on the penis.
"I was in a lot of pain and shock and I screamed and threw my weight on her and dropped her to the ground," he said.
Constable Jennings said he later checked inside his trousers "and everything seemed okay".
In cross-examination, barrister Steve Courtney, for Ms Klaus, questioned Constable Jennings about police duty under the requirements of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act. The trial continues today.