Mum's kid grab: Court hears 'we're not leaving without him'
A MOTHER'S love is said to be like none other. But when the law steps in to protect the child, matters of the heart can become complicated.
This is especially so for one Bundaberg mother, who appeared in District Court on Monday charged with three counts of serious assault against her ex-partner's parents, the grandparents of her child.
The woman, who is now aged 36, appeared in the dock, pleading guilty to all charges.
The court heard on July 8, 2015 the woman, her mother and her mother's partner drove to her ex-partner's home with the intent of collecting her son, who had been living under the care of his paternal grandparents.
The trio appeared with "papers" showing they had the "legal right" to take the woman's five-year-old son back into her custody.
They told the elderly couple, who were both over 60 at the time, that they would "not be leaving" without the boy.
It was then the man grabbed the young boy, who began to cry and a physical and verbal argument broke out.
The grandfather and grandmother yelled for the man to let the boy go, and when the argument moved outside, the man pushed the grandfather on the chest so hard he fell down five steps.
The woman's mother also pushed and tried to restrain the grandmother on a fence and held her arms behind her back.
Prosecution said while the woman had been a party to the assaults done by the co-offenders, she had also pushed the grandmother hard in the chest.
The man yelled for the woman to run off with the child, and she drove away with him in the car.
Defence barrister Callan Cassidy said the woman had been addicted to heroin previously, and had stopped using the drug in 2014.
But he said since the offence she had not offended again and was now the sole carer of her two young children from a different father.
Judge Jennifer Rosengren said she hoped the woman understood the "enduring harm" her actions caused the family.
She said the grandfather had felt like he had to apologise to his grandchild for not being able to protect them at a time they needed him the most.
"He says before this intrusion into their lives, they were enjoying retirement after raising six kids," Judge Rosengren said.
The grandmother in a victim impact statement spoke of how their actions had taken "away the safety and serenity which she once enjoyed".
Judge Rosengren sentenced the woman to six months imprisonment, wholly suspended for 12 months.