A quick outfit change wasn’t enough to throw waiting media off the trail of a 25-year-old man who fronted court on child abuse charges this morning.
A quick outfit change wasn’t enough to throw waiting media off the trail of a 25-year-old man who fronted court on child abuse charges this morning. Barry Leddicoat

Vigilante mum avoids jail

AN OUTRAGED mother has narrowly avoided jail for bashing a defenceless 12-year-old girl, knocking her to the ground and declaring: "No one hits my daughter."

Anne-Marie Whitely, 31, was more than double the age of the schoolgirl she left bloodied and bruised on the ground.

"You're worthless," Whitely told the youngster as she taunted her, telling her to stand back up.

She broke the teeth of her 12-year-old victim.

Whitely walked free from Maroochydore District Court yesterday.

A 12-month jail sentence was wholly suspended after she pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm on January 22 last year.

Whitely's daughter arrived home that afternoon in tears and with a busted lip.

She told her mother about a fight she had been involved in at a nearby supermarket at Little Mountain, Caloundra.

"My first instinct was to go crazy," Whitely later told police in an interview.

She piled her daughter and her daughter's friend into a car and drove until she found the girl who had been in the fight.

"Who hit my daughter?" Whitely said.

The 12-year-old girl replied that she had.

Whitely punched the girl in the face "three to four times" and threw her to the ground.

She repeatedly kneed her and told her: "No one hits my daughter."

Whitely told the girl to get up but punched her again and the girl fell to the ground.

Whitely kneed her again and told the girl she was "worthless".

The victim's friends ran to the girl's house and told her mother she was being "bashed up by a lady".

They came back to confront Whitely, who ran back to her car, did a burnout and sped off.

The young girl was left "crying and shaking uncontrollably" on the ground.

She needed dental treatment for cracked and bruised teeth.

The court heard Whitely's behaviour was "appalling" and that the mother of three "should have known better".

"She accepts she went too far," defence barrister David Crews said.

Judge Gary Long said it was important for a sentence to send a clear message to Whitely and the community.

"It simply can't be accepted that mature adults respond to incidences of violence between children by themselves descending to violence, taking things into their own hands," Judge Long said.



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