Victim would rather night club attacker didn’t go to jail
THE victim of a Mooloolaba nightclub bashing was yesterday upset after learning her attacker had been jailed over the incident.
The woman, who did not want to be named, was at O'Malley's Irish Pub celebrating a friend's birthday when she was punched in the face by Jessica Catherine Maree Peters about 1.10am on December 22 last year.
Maroochydore Magistrates Court was yesterday told Peters, 24, had poured a drink down the back of the victim before grabbing her hair, pulling her head down and punching her in the face.
Video footage of the attack was played three times for Magistrate John Hodgins after he sought clarity over the angle from which the punch was thrown.
MR HODGINS stood in front of the screen but the low quality of the CCTV footage offered little clarification.
He shook his head as he walked back to the bench.
"So sometimes the video doesn't help," Mr Hodgins said.
He heard Peters was already on a suspended prison sentence for bashing a woman in a Rockhampton nightclub when the Mooloolaba incident occurred.
The Rockhampton incident happened about 1am on August 1, 2013, and involved Lawrence fracturing a woman's nose on the dance floor and kicking her after she fell to the ground.
Defence lawyer Anna Smith tendered letters from Peters' bosses at a Sippy Downs pub, as well as her fiancé and others.
Ms Smith noted the bruising injuries to the victim's face were at the lower end of the scale of severity.
She said Peters had been through some distressing personal circumstances which were exacerbated when she drank alcohol.
Ms Smith said her client had stayed out of trouble for the past 10 months and had solid employment.
She said her client's recovery would continue if she were allowed to stay in the community.
But Mr Hodgins was stuck on the fact Peters had committed a similar offence to one for which she was already serving a suspended sentence.
He said there was a perception in the community that people saw suspended sentences as a slap on the wrist.
"I think I have to send a strong message to the community that violence in nightclubs is simply not tolerable," Mr Hodgins said.
Peters was sentenced to six months in prison with a parole release date of December 11.
Her victim said she would rather her attacker didn't go to prison.
She said she would have been happy to be compensated for lost wages due to time off work while her bruises healed.
That was despite the incident having a lasting effect on her confidence in social environments.
She said she had not had a night out at a licensed venue since the attack.