Topics:  community service, crime, drugs, jail, police, warwick magistrates court

Mum struggles to choose between serving time or community

THE choice between community service or jail may seem like a no-brainer but it took an hour in the cells for one young mother to see prison life was not for her.

Dusty-Lee Grace Grant was taken into custody during her an appearance in Warwick Magistrates Court this week when she expressed an inability to perform community service.

She told the court she did not have anyone to care for her child.

Magistrate Roger Stark clearly spelled out to Grant that the alternative was a jail sentence but when she was adamant community service was not possible he sent her to the watchhouse.

The 21-year-old pleaded guilty on Tuesday to assault occasioning bodily harm while in company and possessing drugs and utensils.

The court heard Grant and her sister attended a party in Stanthorpe in August but were asked to leave when they had an argument with one another.

Police prosecutor Ken Wiggan told the court Grant's sister started to fight other people, including the assault victim's mother, before Grant got involved.

Sgt Wiggan said Grant punched the girl in the face "a number of times" and then up against a wall before the girl's father came and pulled Grant off.

The victim went to hospital following the attack, where it was noted she had heavy bruising to her face, arms and hands, a swollen nose and forehead.

Grant also tendered photos of her own injuries to the court this week.

The former Stanthorpe woman told the court she did not agree the incident had unfolded that way.

Her solicitor told the court the victim had punched Grant's sister first, which led to her intervening.

Police also found Grant in possession of 4g of marijuana and a water pipe last month.

After her short stay in the cells on Tuesday, Grant conceded, albeit seemingly reluctantly, that her mother could serve as a babysitter while she performed community service.

Mr Stark emphasised to Grant that her childcare dilemma would be much more difficult if she were behind bars.

She was sentenced to 12 months probation, 60 hours of community service and fined $100.



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