HOME AGAIN: A relieved mother leaves Ipswich Courthouse to be reunited with family after she was convicted of assaulting her teenage daughter and a friend.
HOME AGAIN: A relieved mother leaves Ipswich Courthouse to be reunited with family after she was convicted of assaulting her teenage daughter and a friend. Ross Irby

Kids call cops on mum after whipping with electrical cord

A MUM has appeared in court after whipping her teenage daughter with an electrical cord as punishment for going shopping instead of studying.

An Ipswich court this week heard the woman also whipped her daughter's friend, who had been with her, and also hit her son, 13, when he went to his sister's aid.

The acts of discipline resulted in dire consequences for the woman.

She was charged with assault and removed from the family's Bellbird Park home and new-born baby, who she was still breast-feeding at the time.

The thankful mother will now be reunited with her seven children after many months.

When the 32-year-old mother appeared in court this week on five assault charges, Judge Dennis Lynch QC heard the woman's cultural background was a factor.

She pleaded guilty to unlawfully assaulting a female child (aged 15) between January 31 and March 1; and unlawfully assaulting a second female child (aged 15). The assaults classified as domestic violence.

She also pleaded guilty of assault causing bodily harm to a female child on March 15 at Bellbird Park when armed with an offensive instrument; assaulting a second female child causing bodily harm when armed with an offensive instrument; and unlawful assault of a male child.

"She didn't mean to harm her daughter. She wanted her to listen to the rules," the woman's interpreter stated at the start of proceedings.

Crown prosecutor Caitlin Thompson said the February offences happened when the mother discovered her daughter and friend had gone shopping instead of attending the library.

"She was angry at the girls and hit them with her hand. Told her son to get an electrical cord which she used to whip the girls," Ms Thompson said.

"The other girl's mother was present and encouraged her."

Ms Thompson said the second incident happened after the girls again visited the shopping centre.

The mother (whose identity has been withheld so as not to identify her children) slapped her daughter, hit her with a chair and also scratched her. Ms Thompson said the mother then got a cable and whipped her crying daughter with it until she was restrained by the other girl's mother.

The daughter was taken to hospital and treated for contusions and bruises to her body, tenderness to her chest and ribs, and lacerations on her cheek and below an ear.

The mother spent five days in a police watchhouse before being given bail on March 20.

In his submission, defence barrister Scott Neaves said cultural differences and her Sudanese background had likely contributed. He said material before the court spoke of the personal trauma she witnessed in her childhood and the different discipline techniques in her culture.

"She now has a better understanding of what is appropriate," Mr Neaves said.

"Her now 22-month-old baby was breast-feeding at the time. She was particularly distraught on the basis of how that child was weaned."

Judge Lynch said he was satisfied the offending was the result of a loss of control rather than a gratuitous assault upon children.

"I'm satisfied that your intention was, at least initially, to discipline your child because of her disobedience," he said. Judge Lynch said the best interests of all were served by her being reunited with her family. He ordered her to complete 18 months' probation. A conviction was not recorded.



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