ACQUITTED: Under cross-examination today, Stephen Stewart Mayhew, 52, said his mother was a
ACQUITTED: Under cross-examination today, Stephen Stewart Mayhew, 52, said his mother was a "woman possessed” the night he was accused of assaulting her. Zach Hogg BUN110814CRT2

Jury takes minutes to reach verdict in mum bash trial

IT'S took a jury just 16 minutes to acquit a man accused of assaulting his 71-year-old mother.

The seven-woman, five-man jury returned the not guilty verdict today, the second day of the trial in the Bundaberg District Court.

Under cross-examination today, Stephen Stewart Mayhew, 52, gave a vastly different version of events to the account his mother, Patricia Mason, gave the previous day.

As the Crown's leading witness, Mrs Mason said she'd slapped her son's partner Danielle Rollings during an altercation in the smoking area at The Waves on July 5, 2014.

She claimed in response Mayhew picked her up and threw her from one end of the room to the other as many as five times.

But Mayhew told the court he had acted instinctively to protect Ms Rollings and was slapped and punched himself by his mother as he tried to get her out of the room.

"It was full on. She was a woman possessed. There was slaps (and) punches,” Mayhew said.

"I didn't want to hurt my mother, I was trying to take control of the situation.

Mayhew said his mother had picked up a stool and prodded him with it so he grabbed the stool's legs and directed it, and his mother, towards the door.

He said it was then she fell over, the only time she fell to the ground during the incident.

In his closing address, defence barrister Callum Cassidy said Mrs Mason's version of events was "nonsense” and suggested she proceeded with charges 18 months after the incident out of spite.

He said Ms Mason's version of events made it out to be "100 times” worse than it was.

"The incident we are here about was nothing like that,” he said.

"She's (Mrs Mason) a provably unreliable witness. It just wasn't what happened.”

Mr Cassidy said his client acted in defence to protect Ms Rollings and they were "sitting, minding their own business” when Mrs Mason approached.

"They are confronted by this angry, agitated person,” he said.

"Who was it that confronted who? Clearly it was her.

"Clearly she's the one who started the situation.”



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