Online dispute escalates

"YOU cannot change people who want to write racist derogatory things ... but you can change how you respond to it," Magistrate Maxine Baldwin told a young woman in Gympie Magistrates Court on Monday.

Mrs Baldwin told Tanya Merina Noble, 17, of North Deep Creek, that whatever the prejudice - be it "Aboriginal, homosexual, overweight, Asian" - the person who has the prejudice, has the problem.

Ms Noble was in court to answer a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm on October 25, 2011.

The court heard the offence occurred during a retaliation against a person who allegedly posted racist derogatory remarks on Facebook.

"At the end of the day it was not right what you did.

"There are other ways to deal with it but violence is never the answer.

"It reinforces the racist view. Prove them wrong. Achieve. Don't let other people's vulgar prejudice affect you."

Duty solicitor Leanne Gordon said there was an argument that "played out on Facebook" and her client "regrets her actions".

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Lisa Manns said the incident happened about 10am when the defendant approached the complainant and asked her to stand up.

"The defendant punched her and gave her a blood nose and bruising.

"The defendant did it because of the things the complainant put in Facebook about her."

Ms Noble was placed on a good behaviour bond for two months with a recognisance of $200.

"There will be people with prejudice your whole life but there are more people who are not prejudiced.

"You have to remember that," Mrs Baldwin said.

Gympie Times


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