Teen argues penalty for housemate assault was too harsh
Tension between two former housemates erupted into violence when a Mackay teen bashed the victim in the face multiple times over poo-covered floors.
The 17 year old successfully had a three-month detention order and conviction overturned after the Crown agreed the penalty was too harsh.
The two girls had lived together in the unit – the victim had let her pets defecate in the shared space and then used the teen’s belongings to clean up the mess.
They were no longer living together when the teen asked the victim to come to the unit and pick up some property she had left behind about 2.20pm on July 13 this year.
While at the unit they began to argue about the victim leaving a mess at the home, which became physical when the teen hit the other girl around the face about seven times causing pain, discomfort and a bloody nose.
The teen, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm and was handed three months detention with conditional release and a conviction was recorded.
She appealed the sentence in the Childrens Court of Queensland.
Judge Deborah Richards, in a recent judgment, said the teen admitted she regretted hitting the victim.
“The (victim) had been allowing her animals to defecate on the floor of the shared unit and would use the child’s belongings to clean it up,” Judge Richards said.
“There was a discussion about the disrespect the (victim) had shown towards the living arrangements but also about the child throwing away some of the (victim’s) pot plants.”
The teen had significant mental health problems.
“She was regularly attending the Horizon Club House and one of the interventions proposed was an anger management and guilty emotions treatment program,” Judge Richards said.
“She was willing to undertake those programs and it also seemed she was repairing some of her fractured family relationships.”
Judge Richards said the magistrate who sentenced the teen had noted she had a long history of violence, had previously had probation and community service more than once.
The judgment stated a conviction had been recorded because of the number of violent matters in her history and because she was so close to 18 when she committed the assault.
Judge Richards noted the teen’s mental health conditions were characterised by “acting impulsively and explosively without consideration of consequences, unhealthy peer connections and participating in delinquent or anti-social behaviour”.
“The Crown concedes that the sentence is manifestly excessive and submits that a probation order coupled with a restorative justice order is appropriate,” Judge Richards said.
“Given her age and the circumstances of the offence it is my view that it is not necessary to impose both a probation order and a restorative justice order.
“She has indicated that she is remorseful and she has difficulty controlling her actions.”
The three-month detention order and conviction were set aside and restorative justice was imposed.