Mum assaulted teen bullies
A mother who attacked the girls she believed were bullying her daughter says the abuse is ongoing and she fears it could prompt a suicide.
Katrina Caroline Hunt, 41, was sentenced at Rotorua District Court on Monday to two charges of common assault after a fracas in Cambridge on August 10, 2016.
She was sentenced to 100 hours community work.
Hunt spotted the group of girls outside Cambridge’s Liquorland and, according to the summary of facts, verbally abused and threatened the 14 and 15-year-olds, slapping one of them.
Another girl in the group then slapped Hunt, who in turn grabbed the girl in a bear hug, punched her in the face then threw her to the ground.
‘‘Members of the public then pulled [Hunt] away,’’ court documents said.
Defence lawyer Gisele Schweizer said Hunt was ‘‘a woman of good character’’ who accepted the summary of facts and that her actions were the result of a year long harassment campaign aimed at her daughter.
‘‘This ongoing bullying led to her snapping that day,’’ she said.
‘‘She deeply regrets that now. She is remorseful and would do anything to turn back the clock.’’
Schweizer said Hunt and her family had already suffered severe consequences, with Hunt losing her job and the family having to move.
Judge Geoff Rea, however, questioned the bullying claims.
‘‘The reason why this occurred comes just as submissions, not evidence,’’ he said.
‘‘All I have are her assertions about that [the bullying]. I have no idea whether any complaints to the police have been made. She might have got the wrong targets, not that there are right targets.’’
Rea offered to adjourn sentencing to allow affidavits to be put before the court on the bullying claims, though Hunt opted to proceed.
‘‘She genuinely believed she was attacking people who made her daughter’s life a misery for a year,’’ Schweizer said.
Rea said Hunt had shown ‘‘a major error of judgement’’.
After sentencing Hunt said she had continued fears about the girls she claimed bullied her daughter.
‘‘My fear is they’ll go after a girl who isn’t as strong and they’ll kill themselves,’’ she said.
Hunt also claimed her daughter was still being harassed via social media.
‘‘This ongoing bullying led to her snapping that day.’’