Mum jailed for encouraging teen daughter to fight

ENCOURAGING her teenager daughter to "smash" her cousin during an altercation at a family restaurant has earned a Toowoomba mother a jail sentence.

The 46-year-old woman and her 16-year-old daughter had bumped into the woman's 16-year-old niece and friends at McDonald's on Margaret St about midday October 31 last year, Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard.

After some verbal insults between the two parties were exchanged, the mother told her daughter to "smash her", igniting a scuffle between the two teenage girls who traded punches.

After the girls fell to the floor, the mother had stood over and guarded her daughter who continued the assault, police prosecutor Senior Constable Natalie Bugden told the court.

Eventually, another patron at the restaurant stepped in and put a stop to the altercation, the court heard.

The victim sustained scratches to her arms and ear and claimed she had a sore chest, Snr Const. Bugden said.

Spoken to by police, the mother denied any involvement in the incident, but CCTV footage of the altercation clearly showed her participation in the brawl, she said.

The woman, who is not named because the two teenagers involved are juveniles, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm in company.

Her solicitor Brad Skuse told the court there had been background to the incident.

The victim child had been living with his client and family, but she had been asked to leave, he said.

A dispute arose between the two girls after some property belonging to his client's daughter had gone missing, he said.

The woman's daughter had been dealt with by the Toowoomba Children's Court and she had since gone to live with her father who was separated from his client, Mr Skuse said.

Magistrate Graham Lee noted the mother had a number of previous assaults, including assault occasioning bodily harm offences, in her criminal history though much of that was dated.

However, she had received a suspended jail sentence in the past and in 2013 had been fined $1200 for a common assault, he said.

The fact this event had taken place in a public place added to the seriousness of the offence.

Mr Lee sentenced the woman to six months in jail, but ordered she be released on parole immediately.



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