A 77-year-old woman has been fined $400 after pleading guilty to slapping her neighbour’s child in the face.
Tasmanian pensioner, Frances Anne Rankin faced the Hobart Magistrates Court earlier this week where she pleaded guilty to one count of common assault following the incident.
The court heard that Ms Rankin was having a drink with her neighbour in the rural community of South Arm last year when she grew frustrated that her neighbour’s eight-year-old son refused his mother’s requests to leave them alone so that they could talk in private.
According to Magistrate Michael Daly, the child continued with his defiant behaviour which prompted Ms Rankin to comment “you can see who’s the boss here” in response to her neighbour’s refusal to discipline her son.
Ms Rankin then took matters into her own hands and slapped the child across the cheek with her open hand.
Magistrate Daly told the court that the neighbour confronted Ms Rankin about what had occurred, but Ms Rankin felt that she had done nothing wrong and replied that she had just “clipped” the boy around the ear.
The Magistrate also revealed that the child has been having nightmares and difficulty concentrating in school following the incident and he questioned how Ms Daly could think that physically remonstrating with the child was in any way appropriate regardless of the child’s behavior.
“That type of behaviour can’t ever justify an assault on a child,” said Magistrate Daly.
Ms Rankin expressed remorse for her actions and was fined $400 for her actions but avoided a criminal conviction.