A MOTHER who admitted to bashing her baby daughter before threatening to throw her battered body off a balcony won’t spend a night in jail because, according to a South Australian judge, her crime was “far from the most serious”.
Lorien Norman, 26, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault after beating her eight-month-old daughter Evie with her hand and a large slotted cooking spoon at her Adelaide unit on October 1 last year.
The Adelaide District Court heard harrowing details of how Norman called police on the night of the assault and threatened to throw Evie off a balcony.
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Officers raced to the address where they found Evie with serious injuries to her face, including significant bruising to her forehead, cheeks, ears, neck and arm, and a welt mark from a slotted cooking spoon across one of her cheeks.
The district court was told the baby’s mother had initially lied to police and tried covering up her crime by telling responding officers that her daughter had sustained her injuries in a fall at a playground.
Photos uploaded to Facebook sometime after the attack show the 32-week-old baby with a black eye, abrasions and a small cut on her face, and the welt mark from the slotted spoon on her cheek.
The officers conveyed both Norman and her daughter to the local hospital where a thorough physical examination confirmed Evie had been assaulted and hit in the face and body at least eight times.
In sentencing Norman in the Adelaide District Court last week, Judge Jack Costello noted the 26-year-old’s history of drug and alcohol abuse but said the now mother-of-two had started to turn her life around.
“In the DPP’s submission the injuries were caused by reason of a sustained and deliberate assault by you upon your daughter which involved multiple blows, at least one of which was with a slotted spoon to your daughter’s face and that this indicated more than a momentary loss of control on your part,” Costello said.
“Whilst any assault of a child, particularly one of such a tender age and vulnerability, by a parent stands as a gross breach of trust, your offending is nevertheless far from the most serious of offending of this type in terms of the degree of force involved and the duration of the offending.
“In this respect, I particularly note the opinion of the treating paediatrician to the effect that there was no evidence of bony or intracranial injury and that your daughter’s physical injuries were likely to completely resolve.”
Norman was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison last Wednesday, but the term was fully suspended in return for her guilty plea.
She instead walked free from court on a $500 two-year good behaviour bond for an offence with usually carries a maximum jail term of 13 years.
In an interview with 9News.com.au, Norman’s former partner Shane McMahon expressed his outrage at the district court’s decision and claimed Norman’s actions were fuelled by jealousy over his new relationship.
“Where is the justice for Evie, it’s absolutely disgraceful,” McMahan told Nine. “She has gone and bashed my child and threatened to kill her. It’s just gut wrenching.”
To read an extended version of Shane McMahon’s interview with 9News, click here.