Clothing choice row sparks mum's brutal assault of girl

A HOT temper combined with sleep deprivation was blamed for a mum's attack on her 10-year-old daughter.

The brutal assault came after the girl told her mother she wanted to wear shorts and a singlet, an Ipswich court was told this week.

It was not the first time the Ipswich woman had assaulted the girl, with a previous conviction dating back to when the victim was 30 months old.

In the offence now before Ipswich Magistrates Court  the 31-year-old mother of three pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm to the girl at Raceview on October 13, 2018.

Police sought a jail term of six to eight months.

Prosecutor Acting Sergeant Courtney Boss said the woman's offending went beyond what could be considered reasonable domestic discipline.

"It was a tirade of strikes over a trivial matter after she disagreed with what clothes she was wearing," Sgt Boss said.

The court was told the assault involved slaps to the back of her head followed by more blows after the girl was made to unlock a door after taking refuge.

Sgt Boss said the mother's previous conviction involved an assault on the same child the aged 2 1/2 which resulted in injuries including a fractured femur and bruising to her eye.

In that offence the girl was held by one leg upside down by the woman's partner when struck.

Defence lawyer Erin Dwan conceded that the mother's behaviour could not be said to be reasonable behaviour, and a prison term warranted.

"Things went too far on this occasion," she said.

And the mother instructed that her mental health was deteriorating at the time due to two babies in her care, and not having family support.

Ms Dwan said the woman had diagnosed bipolar disorder and changed medication at the time.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said a medical report (before the court) contained no suggestion of mental issues at the time, but that she may have been experiencing irritability related to stress because of sleep loss.

"It seems that she was unable to control her anger," Ms Sturgess said.

"Assault causing bodily harm particularly to a vulnerable child is very serious."

Ms Sturgess said there had been a trivial disagreement about what clothes the daughter chose to wear and her mother told her to get changed.

The girl was then struck on her leg, struck two or three times to an arm leaving bruises, and hit twice to the back of her head. While crying, she was screaming she was hit in the eye.

Ms Sturgess said swelling was caused to the girl's left eye, and there had been bruising and red marks.

"It is a consequence of parenting, poor sleep, irritability. It is not an excuse to engage in violence on a child," she said.

The woman was sentenced to nine months jail with immediate parole.


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