Mum as­saulted teen bul­lies

Rotorua Review - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - BENN BATH­GATE

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.’’

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