Emotional state no excuse

SEVENTEEN-year-old Amy Louise Burraston from Texas learned about the pitfalls of violence the hard way after appearing in the Warwick Magistrates Court yesterday.

The court heard how the teenage mother-of-one’s house had burnt down on the day she was charged with assault.

Police prosecutor Steve de Lissa said that on June 29 the complainant was sitting in her car outside the Royal Hotel in Texas when Burraston approached from behind.

She allegedly reached in the driver’s window and grabbed the woman inside.

“The complainant attempted to push her away but she was unable to get away,” de Lissa said.

“She headbutted her on the nose, which caused some pain but left no visible injury.”

He told the court Burraston was later interviewed by police and admitted grabbing the female driver.

“She was upset and she became angry when she heard the complainant was laughing about her loss.

“She became even angrier when the complainant denied that she had laughed at her.

“She said she was upset and lost control of her emotions.”

Burraston’s defence said the seventeen-year-old had lost all her belongings in the fire and was sitting on a traffic island crying when the female driver passed in her car laughing.

The court heard how the defendant watched the driver stop up the road where she was laughing and pointing at her.

Burraston approached the female when she saw her in her parked car an hour or so later.

Her defence said she grabbed the female but did not headbutt her. A police witness confirmed this.

Magistrate Anne Thacker admitted it was a terrible situation and that she understood Burraston was very upset at the time.

“However, that is no justification for your bad behaviour,” she said.

“I sincerely hope you will never be in this position again.

“It’s a steep learning curve for you and the lesson is, do not touch other people.”

Magistrate Thacker said she would take into consideration the early guilty plea and Burraston’s good history.

She was put on a good behaviour bond for 12 months and would have to pay an $800 fine if she breached the bond.

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