Woman is jailed after assault

A 39-YEAR-old woman embraced and kissed her teenage daughter for several minutes in Grafton Local Court. Then she was led away to begin a nine-month jail sentence.

The weeping woman, Berniece Marie Laurie, of Maxwell Avenue, South Grafton, had just been found guilty of common assault of her partner during an outing to Coffs Harbour on December 27 last year.

The conviction put Laurie in breach of a nine-month suspended jail sentence and a six-month good behaviour bond for convictions of common assault and assault occasional actual bodily harm that took place on two neighbours last June.

The court heard Laurie began abusing her partner, with whom she had shared an on-again, off-again relationship for three and a half years, accusing him of infidelity.

She had been drinking heavily and when this combined with the effects of drugs she had been taking to ward off depression, she lost control.

Her depression had been worsened by the death of her mother. The court also heard she had been raped when she was 14.

Solicitor Kate Biffin asked the court to consider another bond so Laurie could continue to care for her 15-year-old daughter.

The police facts said Laurie had phoned them to say she had smashed her partner’s car with a rock.

Police arrived to find the badly damaged car and saw Laurie throw a glass containing a clear liquid at her partner, striking him in the chest and causing him to drop a bottle of beer.

The police arrested her and charged her with common assault.

Magistrate Kim Pogson noted that Laurie had a record of violence and this was linked to her intake of alcohol.

While he noted that Laurie was attempting to deal with her problems, because of the breaches of bond he had no alternative other than to impose custodial sentences.

For the breach of the suspended jail sentence Laurie was sentenced to nine months’ jail and for the breach of the good behaviour bond she was sentenced. For the latest assault charge she also received a six month jail sentence.

The sentence was backdated to March 3 this year and she will be eligible for release on December 2.



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