A 28-YEAR-OLD Bundaberg mum has been handed a six month jail sentence after punching her seven-year-old daughter in the leg, however the defendant will avoid spending time behind bars after a magistrate ruled the sentence could be served in the community as an intensive correction order.
The mum-of-two pleaded guilty to one count of assault in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday after punching her daughter, who was six at the time, on the upper thigh twice.
Police prosecutor Acting Sergeant Dean Burgess told the court the defendant's mother called police after the victim told her what had occurred.
He said on May 20 this year the defendant was asleep but became angry when she was woken by her daughter and so chased her around the house.
"The child ran to her bedroom and was lying in bed when she was punched twice on the upper thigh," he said.
In his client's defence, lawyer Rian Dwyer said the defendant had had an issue with drugs in the past and accepted her actions were unacceptable.
"She's been trying to ween herself off drugs," he said.
Mr Dwyer said the defendant's children were not in her care at the moment.
Magistrate Aaron Simpson said the defendant's actions went beyond that of parental discipline and the sentence reflected the seriousness of the offence.
"Children are vulnerable and need protection," he said.
"I send a message to you and other members of the community that you can't beat a child.
"There are better ways to deal with children than this."
As part of the correction order the defendant is required to submit to drug testing.
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