Woman punches victim 12 times on a courtesy bus
A WOMAN of good character was handed a Good Behaviour Bond, with no conviction recorded, for punching another woman 12 times, Proserpine Magistrates Court was told, on Monday.
Paula Parker, from Proserpine, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm.
Parker, 50, was on a courtesy bus, on June 22 last year, with her eight-year-old son and her parents, when a woman started swearing, the court was told.
"The woman said the word f-k and the defendant's parents had a word with her about it," Police Prosecutor Sergeant Emma Myors said.
"The defendant asked the woman who was swearing if she would tolerate someone using bad language in front of her children.
"The defendant pushed the woman back into her seat and they became involved in an altercation. The defendant's mother also became involved and the defendant leaned forward and pushed the victim in the face.
"Up to this point, the defendant was acting in self-defence, but she then punched the victim 12 times, which was not justified - she was stopped by witnesses."
Defence solicitor Ali Ladd submitted four character references to the magistrate.
"My client was on the Gold Coast visiting family members - she had approximately two glasses of wine with dinner at the Helensvale Bowls Club but she was not feeling any effects of alcohol," Miss Ladd said.
"They got the courtesy bus, and the comments made by the claimant and witnesses were adult in nature, and my client did not want her son to hear those comments.
"Her parents initially said something, and it was when the defendant's mother hopped out of her seat that it got physical and my client intervened.
"The initial alteration was self-defence but then my client went back to get her mother's glasses and she was overcome with anger. An earring was ripped out of the complainant's ear, and she experienced pain and discomfort.
"My client accepts her behaviour was very poor and was upset that her son had to witness what happened. She's never been before the court and it's very out of character for her.
"She is a volunteer in childcare and a learn-to-swim instructor - she does a lot of community work and is working towards becoming a group leader for a local youth program.
"This incident is a one-off blight on her otherwise good record."
Magistrate Ron Muirhead said assault charges were dealt with seriously, with heavy fines and prison.
"But there are extenuating circumstances and you are of previous good character," he said.
"A Good Behaviour Bond is pretty much unheard of (for assault)."
Magistrate Muirhead sentenced parker to a 12-month order with a $1000 bond and no conviction recorded.