March 21, 2018 (submitted for assessment)

A woman swung a bat at her partner’s mother because she threatened to call the Department of Child Services, the Ipswich Magistrates Court heard yesterday. 

Unemployed mother of two Stephanie Goulder, 23, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful assault armed with a dangerous weapon.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Tracey Laing said the victim’s son, Brent Patterson, phoned his mother (name withheld) to collect him following the couple’s heated argument. 

Sgt Laing said Goulder tried to strike the victim’s car with a wooden cricket bat before striking the victim after she threatened to call child services.

“With both hands, she swung the bat towards the victim leaving her with a slight limp, red and bruising,” she said. 

Defence solicitor Zara Rudan said Goulder’s actions came after an escalated argument over drugs with Mr Patterson, with Goulder struggling with a spiraling addiction that began when she was 18. 

“As a consequence of that, she has had her children taken away in the past,” she said. 

The court heard Goulder had not undertaken mandatory child safety drug testing because a new case officer made it difficult, but she had begun steps to address her drug issues including counselling and visits to a GP. 

Magistrate Louise Pink said she had no evidence indicating Goulder had sought counselling or medical advice. 

“It’s concerning conduct to attack someone with a cricket bat albeit a small one,” Ms Pink said. 

“Ironically, it seems that you took the bat to your partner’s mother because she threatened to call child services.

“If you’re assaulting a family member with a bat, it calls into question your suitability.”

Ms Pink sentenced Goulder to nine months’ probation, mandatory anger management counselling and illicit drug use therapy.