News

Mum of four who attacked pregnant woman jailed

A GYMPIE woman who stomped on a man's head and attacked a heavily pregnant woman was sentenced to three months jail on Monday.

Mandy Lee Harvey, 31, was led into custody in tears, explaining she was going on a "holiday" as two of her four young children struggled to understand what was happening.

The single mother had earlier fronted Gympie Magistrates Court, pleading guilty to four charges, including entering a dwelling with intent, two counts of assault and one of wilful damage.

An earlier charge of stealing with withdrawn by the prosecution.

Gympie Magistrate Maxine Baldwin heard that on December 14 last year at 6pm, two victims of the assaults were drawn to their front yard where the defendant and three males were standing.

Harvey began swearing at both victims and refused to leave despite repeated requests to vacate the property. At one point, one of the victims grabbed a garden hose and squirted Harvey on the legs in an effort to entice her to leave the yard.

The female victim grabbed a phone and started dialling the police, prompting Harvey to charge forwards and rip the phone from the woman's hand. 

As the victim retreated inside the property's house, Harvey followed and viciously assaulted her. The woman, 34 weeks pregnant, was punched three to four times before Harvey left briefly, only to return and continue the attack.

Outside, the three males in the defendant's company had pinned the male victim down on the ground. As the man was assaulted, Harvey approached and stomped on his head, slamming it into a concrete path. 

Harvey was leaving the property with the mobile phone still in hand when one of the victims mentioned a phone's ability to be tracked using GPS. The defendant responded by throwing the mobile on the ground and stomping on it.

Harvey's lawyer said the events of that day were an "isolated incident unlikely to be repeated", brought about by the defendant looking for a missing child. As a single mother of four children, the lawyer said Harvey was seeking a mental health plan to make changes.

"She has interest in the food industry and is looking at a TAFE pastry course as a possible option in the future," the lawyer said.

The lawyer added Harvey was remorseful and, despite living close to the victims, no ongoing dispute or violence had occurred.

Since the incident, the defendant and female victim had crossed paths in Gympie's Big W store where, the court was told, Harvey exchanged pleasantries over the victim's newborn child. 

Magistrate Baldwin said the assault charge where Harvey stomped on the victim's head in company was the "most worrying" charge.

"It's hard to justify not giving a prison sentence," Mrs Baldwin said, adding the impact on Harvey's four children "weighed heavily" on her mind.

Magistrate Baldwin said a "tragic set of events" led to the offending as a verbal argument escalated. Harvey's behaviour was described as "bullying" and centred on "enacting revenge".

The charges could have been vastly different with the assault on the pregnant woman.

"She just had to fall the wrong way," Mrs Baldwin said.

"It was only through good luck injuries inflicted were not more serious."

The assault on the male victim was troubling for the Magistrate, given it was "in company". 

Harvey was sentenced on an assault charge to nine months prison with parole for September 30 this year, meaning three months behind bars.

For entering a dwelling with intent, she received fours month's jail, suspended for two years, and a further six months suspended for two years for the second count of assault.

The wilful damage charge attracted a month suspended for two years.Harvey was also ordered to pay $500 to each of the two victims and $199 restitution for the damaged mobile.

"I need to send a message violence in company and home invasions are totally unacceptable," Mrs Baldwin said.

Gympie Times

Topics:  gympie magistrates court jail



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