Hunter mum physically abused two children for 18 months
Newcastle courthouse. A HUNTER mother repeatedly assaulted her two children over an 18-month period, deprived them of food and made them sleep in the bathtub or garage if they did not complete elaborate cleaning rituals.
The woman, who cannot be named because it would identify her two children, sobbed in the Newcastle District Court dock on Friday as Judge Tanya Bright was told her actions were tantamount to “gratuitous cruelty”.
The woman, who has been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder,pleaded guilty in November to a number of offences, including multiple counts of common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm as well as reckless wounding and failing to provide the necessities to her children, who were aged between 10 and 13 at the time of the offences.
According to a statement of agreed facts, the woman imposed “unusual routines and practices” on her children, including ordering them to complete “elaborate cleaning rituals” which took them all afternoon and evening.
“If the children did not perform the task to their mother’s satisfactions, abuse and punishment would follow,” the facts say.
A common punishment was being deprived of food, with the kids regularly given liquid breakfast drinks instead of meals.
In April of 2012, she rammed her son’s head into the wall while he was in the shower and then poked her soapy fingers into his eyes when he complained.
On another occasion she punched him in the face, hit him over the head with the edge of a plastic kitchen utensil, making him bleed before taking him to clean the blood out of his hair only to repeatedly knee him in the tailbone.
The woman was arrested in October, 2013 and the children were removed from her care.
Judge Bright adjourned the matter to next Friday, when she will determine if the woman should be sentenced to a full-time custodial sentence.
On that subject,DPP solicitor Kylie Henry said there was no doubt that an alternative to jail, like a suspended sentence, was inadequate.
“Having regard to the number of counts, the fact that there were two victims over a lengthy period of time andthe expectations of the community and the victims…it leaves your honour with no alternative but a full-time custodial sentence,” Ms Henry told Judge Bright.