Mum's attack on three-year-old daughter shocks shoppers

A WOMAN has been given jail time after assaulting her three-year-old child in an Ipswich supermarket.

The 21-year-old woman, who cannot be named to protect the child's identity, yesterday pleaded guilty to common assault, stealing and obstructing police.

Ipswich Magistrates Court was told the woman was with her child at the Limestone St Coles shopping centre on November 20 last year.

She told the court, while they were inside the shopping centre her child began opening packets of products she couldn't afford.

The woman, who was born in New Zealand but raised in Ipswich, reacted violently and began slapping and swearing at the three-year-old.

The court heard she told the child she "hated" it, slapped it in the face and punched it.

A number of witnesses saw the assault and approached the woman, who swore at them and told them to leave her alone, before one of them called the police.

The court heard witnesses saw the woman throw her handbag and the child and press the bag into the child's face with force.

When police arrived she told them the people who saw the assault should "mind their own business".



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She told police she had been shopping at Coles and she reacted when the child began opening packets of food, admitting to "slapping and pinching".

The court heard she had three pages of criminal history.

Since the incident the child had been taken into custody after her parole was suspended.

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said her actions weren't sinister but a result of her struggling with parenthood.

"(The assault) was indicative of a young mother not coping in a stressful situation," he said.

Mr Fairclough told the court the child had been subject to proceedings of child protection authorities and was now living with the woman's parents.

The woman also pleaded guilty to stealing $63.90 worth of groceries the day before the assault from Woolworths Booval, and of drunkenly attempting to stop police arresting another person on December 28.

The court heard she was so aggressive towards police, one officer drew a taser before she was subdued by a different officer.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said the woman's actions were a "serious offence" against her own child.

She was sentenced to four months' prison, and will be eligible for parole on March 14. She was ordered to pay $63.90 in restitution to Woolworths Booval.

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