A Sydney magistrate has attacked alcohol-fuelled violence, calling for greater sentencing on perpetrators after hearing cases of drunken assaults by women.
British-born Elizabeth Hasler appeared last week in Waverley Local Court charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The matter related to the night of 3 March this year, according to police facts, when Hasler was in the company of a colleague at Kensington’s Doncaster Hotel, following a race meeting earlier at Royal Randwick. Both women are stable hands for Gai Waterhouse.
The women left the pub shortly before midnight, whereupon Hasler began accusing her associate of looking at her fiancé during the evening. The court heard she warned “best for you to walk away or I’ll knock you out” before punching her twice in the head.
The second woman sustained a broken nose and severe bleeding, fractured cheek bone, neck ligament damage, and her front tooth was chipped, requiring dental surgery.
Hasler did not present herself to police until a month later, and was subsequently charged. The 27-year-old appeared before Magistrate Michael Barko, entering a plea of guilty, supported by her finance, with whom she lives in Randwick.
Her solicitor spoke of her steady employment since coming to Australia in 2011, and noted that she had been out socially with the victim since the assault.
But Barko lamented what he sees as a rise in violence involving women and alcohol, and sentenced Hasler to 250 hours community service. She has also been suspended by Racing NSW for six months.
“If I showed these facts to the general community and said it’s a male, they would say he should go to jail. It’s about time sentences are imposed [on] females that are imposed [on] males for the same thing.”
Further north, a Gold Coast mother has been sentenced over her behaviour late last year, when she drank and drove into a group of pedestrians on the sidewalk, before speeding off.
Mother of three Lisa Webber was kicked out of the Plough Inn in Brisbane on 10 December 2017, where she had been drinking for the past four hours.
CCTV footage caught her car leaving the underground carpark and turning onto the street, before mounting the kerb and colliding with a number of pedestrians. Without even opening the door, she returns to the road and was seen driving off erratically.
One man was injured in the collision, and is expected to still require surgery. Several others were able to jump clear of the car.
Rather than drive the 77 kilometres to her Gold Coast home, Webber chose to drive 124 kilometres to Toowoomba, but was arrested just hours after the incident.
The 36-year-old appeared before Magistrate Wendy Cull last Friday, where she pled guilty to dangerous operation of a vehicle and public nuisance, her solicitor arguing she was going through a relationship break-up, and claiming she had sustained blows to the head whilst being evicted.
Prosecutor Miles Leslie noted her failure to render any assistance to the people she hit, while Cull cited “thank goodness this wasn’t more serious”.
Webber must undergo a mental health assessment, but was sentenced to two years’ probation, with her licence suspended for six months, although her clean driving record will remain unblemished.
She was ordered to pay $1000 to the injured victim.
Four more serious charges were discontinued.