Jail for violent rampage
28-year-old woman assaults family members after boozy night out
A NORTH Queensland woman employed in the tourism industry has been jailed for a host of violence-related charges during a drunken rampage.
The woman, who appeared in the Ingham Magistrates Court on Thursday, cannot be named to protect the identity three victims, who are all family members.
The 28-year-old Ingham resident pleaded guilty to seven domestic-violence related charges, namely assault with a weapon causing bodily harm, assault causing harm, common assault, contravening a domestic-violence order and three counts of wilful damage.
She also pleaded guilty to animal cruelty on Palm Island on April 4.
All of the offences were committed in breach of a probation order imposed in September last year.
The police prosecution tendered the court a three-page sentencing schedule as well as the defendant’s two-page criminal history.
In his summary of the incident, Acting Magistrate Scott Luxton said the defendant had returned to the family home after a night of drinking, picking up two puppies by the throat and making threats to throw them to the ground.
He said that the first victim convinced the defendant to put the puppies down, but was met with an onslaught of punches to the head.
Mr Luxton said a fight ensued with a second victim, who suffered several cuts to her neck and chest.
Mr Luxton said the third victim was struck with a metal bar, causing the top of his head to bleed.
The wilful damage charges related to the defendant smashing the windows of two cars with a metal baseball bat and kicking in a security door of the home.
The contravention of a domestic violence order related to verbal abuse of a fourth victim.
Mr Luxton said the offences “represent a prolonged act of physical violence towards a number of different family members and causing bodily harm to two of those family members”.
Earlier, defence lawyer Margaret Crowther of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service proffered the court reference letters from a drug and alcohol counsellor, a clinical nurse relating to her care of a severely mentally disabled relative and from her respected employer.
She said all of the charges were the result of one incident after a heavy night of drinking and pent up family frustrations over the care of the mentally disturbed relative and other issues.
“(The charges) are the result of unresolved frustration and anger that hasn’t been dealt with in an appropriate way,” she said.
Ms Crowther said a wholly suspended prison term was an appropriate sentence given her client’s family background, her considerable efforts to address the root causes of her offending, her employment and the fact she had removed herself for the negative family environment on Palm Island.
Mr Luxton said the charges were aggravated by the fact the defendant was on probation for an act of violence towards a family member.
The magistrate said not only had the order failed, but the defendant’s criminal behaviour had escalated.
The woman, who sat politely throughout the hearing, was jailed for one year, of which she must serve two months behind bars and 10 months on parole.
Convictions were recorded with the exception of the charge of animal cruelty.