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6 July, 2021

Headbutted, phone stolen

POLICE have reported a spike in serious crimes throughout the Mackay region and residents are understandably concerned.


In one of the more serious cases, a 42-year-old woman has been jailed just this week for repeatedly headbutting and robbing a preg- nant woman who was pushing her 15-month-old child along a footpath.

At the time of the assault, the attacker was with her five-year- old daughter.

Melanie Renae Sciberras pleaded guilty to three charges including grievous bodily harm, stealing the victim’s iPhone and attempting to break into the car of a woman who was filming the assault on her phone.

Magistrate Bronwyn Harti- gan told the Mackay Magistrates Court that Scriberras “had drug issues and she must have been doing it (drugs)”.

In passing sentence, Magistrate Hartigan told Scriberras that she “should be thoroughly and utterly ashamed of her behaviour.

“To stand alone, the behaviour is very, very serious, as it’s a very very serious assault, Magistrate Hartigan said.

“But to have committed this in front of your daughter who is now six, is truly terrible because she is old enough to understand that her Mum was doing something wrong on the street to a total stranger.

“This lady was walking along in Ander- grove at 4:25 pm on April 1 and she was a complete stranger to you.

“Now in your mind you thought that she had taken photographs of you, but on the evidence before me is that was absolutely not true.

“She had her back to you and you put your hand on her shoulder.

“You then started talking to her, asking her for her phone and she refused.

“She kindly said, if you need police or triple 0, I’ll call them for you, but you kept demanding her phone and she refused.

“You then tried to grab her earphone and you were violent shaking the pram-like trike that the victim’s young 13-month-old child was in.

“She told you that she was pregnant, 12 weeks pregnant and that did not deter you.

“You snatched her phone and headbutted her twice in the face.

“The pregnant woman suffered minor injuries and there was swealing to her fore- head, confirmed in medical reports.

“Then the pregnant woman collapsed on the ground.

"That could have had catastrophic consequences for that poor woman who was a stranger to you.

“But it’s in your favour that you did make made full admissions in a record of interview.”

Magistrate Hartigan added that the next charge relates to another incident moments later.

“Somebody, an innocent bystander, actu- ally caught on film what was going on and followed you so that they could tell the po- lice and you would not be lost sight of,” the Magistrate explained.

“When you discov- ered this, you walked up to her car door and you said that you would bash her.

“She locked her vehicle door.

“You then grabbed the passenger door, trying to get in and you did not let go when she drove off.

“You said things to her like you c..., I’m going to bash you.

However despite the seriousness of the assault, Magistrate Hartigan sought to reha- bilitate the assailant and asked via a prison video link if the prisoner had reflected on her behaviour over the past three months.

Scriberras replied that: “I have, Your Honour, my behaviour was just terrible.”

Magistrate Hartigan responded: “I’m glad that you realise that because that’s something that will help you to rehabilitate yourself.

“It’s good that you know that was really the wrong thing to do.

“There is something not quite right and it’s good that your dealing with and being treated for that in your rehabilitation.

“You have been in jail for three months.

“I do think its preferable for you to be in the community and to be on a long parole.”

“So, I’m going to sentence you for assault occasionally bodily harm to 12-months imprisonment. For the steal- ing, you are sentenced to three months imprisonment and for attempted entry for the vehicle, three months imprisonment. I set your parole of today to be released and I declare that you have spent 85 days in custody, as time served for the sentence,” Magistrate Bronwyn Hartigan concluded.


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