Harassed on walk home from school

The Proserpine Court House Photo Peter Carruthers / Whitsunday Times
The Proserpine Court House Photo Peter Carruthers / Whitsunday Times Peter Carruthers

THE last thing a girl walking home from school should expect to hear is a voice yelling "pull your skirt down”.

Unfortunately this was just the beginning of a Proserpine girl's ordeal as she walked along Chapman St, approaching Marathon St on the way to Youth Space.

After the girl ignored the first comment, police were told that Sereena Rie McGrady, 33, continued to verbally abuse the girl, shouting, "If you don't come here I am going to hit you” and "You will see why I don't have my kids”.

Prosecutor Bernhard Berger said the Proserpine girl ran from the scene and later reported the incident to police accompanied by a Youth Space co-ordinator on June 14 at 2.30pm.

Police investigations showed McGrady was at a doctor's surgery near where the incident happened.

The court was told McGrady was also serving a suspended prison sentence at the time of the incident.

Defence lawyer Elizabeth Smith said McGrady identified the girl as someone she understood to have bullied her daughter, which forced her to move her daughter to a different school.

"It can be described as a momentary lapse of judgment and she lost her cool,” she said.

Ms Smith also said McGrady told the victim, "You were lucky I didn't smack you in the mouth,” rather than yelling that she was going to hit her.

The court was told McGrady was preparing to begin employment next week and imprisonment would put this at risk.

Magistrate Simon Young told McGrady she had a history of re-offending, which needed to stop.

"You didn't listen particularly closely when I explained your suspended sentence in January.

"A public nuisance charge does activate it and that is what you have done, if there was any suggestion that drugs were involved then you would have been at real risk of missing your job and being locked up,” he said.

McGrady pleaded guilty to a public nuisance charge and was fined $750 and her suspended prison sentence was extended by six months.

Topics:  court magistrate proserpine

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