Not her smartest decision

November 06, 2017

A 50-YEAR-OLD mother who drunkenly assaulted a former friend in Echuca has been convicted and fined $1500.

A 50-YEAR-OLD mother who drunkenly assaulted a former friend in Echuca has been convicted and fined $1500.

Sharon Smart pleaded guilty in Echuca Magistrates Court on Tuesday to recklessly causing injury.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Rachael Hitchens said Smart had gone to a friend’s house in Hovell St at 8.55pm on May 8, 2017 to ask for cigarettes.

When the victim refused, Smart, who was ‘‘unsteady on her feet and agitated’’, started verbally abusing her.

The victim asked her to leave several times, but Smart retaliated and pushed her and punched the woman to her right eye.

‘‘They started fighting, with a number of punches thrown,’’ Snr Constable Hitchens said.

The pair eventually fell to the ground and another person intervened and tried to get Smart off the victim without success.

‘‘She was pulling her hair but wouldn’t let go,’’ Snr Constable Hitchens said.

When the victim broke free, Smart picked up a magpie statue and threw it at the victim’s car, smashing the back windscreen.

During a police interview, Smart told them throwing the statue was ‘‘a stupid thing to do’’.

‘‘I stuffed up and shouldn’t have done it,’’ she told them.

Defence lawyer Elricia Schoeman said that her client had become drunk after celebrating her eldest daughter’s birthday.

‘‘She said that the victim and her assailant had been friends for a long time and that relationship has come to an end now,’’ she said.

‘‘It was an argument that got out of hand. She is remorseful for what happened.’’

Ms Schoeman said her client was a single mother after her husband died in 2001.

‘‘By her own accord, she has gone to counselling to address her alcohol usage,’’ she said.

Ms Schoeman urged magistrate Michael King to consider a significant fine.

Dr King said it was a serious matter, considering the victim had suffered a black eye and this was Smart’s second assault-related conviction.

‘‘If this is how you act, you need to cut down on your drinking,’’ he said.

‘‘This kind of behaviour is dangerous, especially throwing the object ... and they did not deserve to be treated like this.

‘‘There are respectful ways to sort out differences and criminal ways and you chose the latter.

‘‘Those who persist in violent behaviour end up in prison.’’

Dr King also ordered Smart to pay $395 in restitution for the damaged windscreen.

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