Woman mops the floor

IT WAS not exactly the Goliath of battles, but Caroline Scott-Bridges, just shy of 70, was found guilty of assault yesterday after whacking a mop across the head of big Nimbin bloke Alanthium.

“Beware of little old ladies with mop handles,” Alanthium said later outside the courthouse.

Scott-Bridges 67, had pleaded not guilty at the hearing in Lismore Local Court, maintaining it was an act of self-defence against the solid 110kg, 2-metre tall Nimbin resident, who helps his partner in her local tattoo and piercing shop.

Scott-Bridges and her husband, Gary, own The Nimbin Coffee House and share a corridor with All Holes Barred Rainbow Body Piercing and Tattoo Studio, owned by Alanthium's partner, Sharon Rogers.

Simmering tensions between the two businesses over a tenancy disagreement erupted into a court matter when Scott-Bridges cracked the mop handle across Alanthium's skull, causing abrasions, on April 5 last year.

The court was told she had been mopping the corridor near a black velvet curtain divide on the corridor to the piercing studio when asked to stop by Alanthium.

She had refused and the assault occurred.

Defence lawyer James Fuggle said Scott-Bridges hit Alanthium on the head because he 'accosted' her, with his client maintaining there was a history of her being manhandled and assaulted by him.

Mr Fuggle said Alanthium had two marks on his head consistent with being hit with a stick.

He described the incident as 'unsavoury', with neither person coming out of it smelling like roses.

“The self-defence she says she used was appropriate - that one hit and it was over and he's gone,” Mr Fuggle said.

Magistrate Robyn Denes said the assault went 'well beyond' the realms of a simple tenancy disagreement, saying the two people had a history of animosity and unsupported allegations.

Ms Denes said she accepted the evidence of Alanthium, who had told the court he felt the wet end of the mop on his back.

When he grabbed the mop over his shoulder, Scott-Bridges refused to let go.

“He pulls on it and it snaps,” Ms Denes said. “He turns around and receives two hits on his head.”

Ms Denes found the evidence of Scott-Bridges 'less than candid', and said the woman began to change her evidence under cross-examination.

She convicted Scott-Bridges of assault, but took into account her unblemished record and put her on a Section 10A bond.

Scott-Bridges was placed on a 12-month Apprehended Violence Order not to assault, intimidate, harass or threaten Alanthium.

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