28 October 2022

'Very stressed-out mother' struggling to get kids to sleep pours water over noisy grocery staff

| Albert McKnight
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ACT Law Courts Photo: Michelle Kroll Region Media

A 23-year-old mother has been sentenced for three counts of common assault. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A young mother struggling to get her children to sleep became so sick of the noise coming out of a grocery downstairs from her apartment, she ended up pouring water over its staff from her balcony.

The three staff were working at the loading dock outside the Amaroo grocery about 6:30 pm on 17 June 2022 when they heard the 23-year-old call out to them from above, court documents say.

Clothed in a pink dressing gown, she yelled and swore at them, before grabbing a glass of water from inside and returning to tip it over the workers.

She then returned with a bucket and threatened to pour that over them too, but they fled inside.

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The mother, who spent one day in custody after she was arrested, pleaded guilty to three counts of common assault and appeared for sentencing in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday (25 October), where Legal Aid lawyer Jeremy Banwell said the workers had been breaking pallets at the time and the incident occurred in the context of “a very stressed-out mother”.

He said his client had two children, aged three and 16 months, and had been in a long-running noise dispute.

She lived in a mixed residential and commercial building, he said, and there had been an ongoing noise issue there for the past 12 months which escalated when a grocer moved in downstairs. This resulted in excessive noise.

Mr Banwell said her and her kids’ sleep had been disrupted due to the noise and while she had tried to resolve the issue with the workers she had “been laughed at in her face”.

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He argued the offence was at the low end of seriousness, the water hadn’t resulted in any real harm and there was nothing to indicate it was unclean. He asked for a non-conviction order.

However, Magistrate James Lawton said while disturbing a sleeping child is always frustrating, that didn’t justify what the woman had done.

He convicted her and fined her $150.

Original Article published by Albert McKnight on Riotact.

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