Bond for bashing love rival

RACHAEL HERNE didn't split hairs when she saw her love rival in a Lismore hotel and attacked – pulling her victim's hair before kicking her in the head and body when she fell.

Herne, 20, a trainee hairdresser of Goonellabah, pleaded guilty in the Lismore Local Court to assaulting the young woman, a former friend, at the Standard Hotel at 1am on May 22.

Magistrate Michael Dakin asked defence lawyer Rachael Thomas if she had informed her client of his view that offenders who kick people in the head when they are on the ground should usually receive a custodial sentence.

Ms Thomas said Herne had not been charged with the more serious assault offence of causing bodily harm and that she had been intoxicated at the time.

She asked that no conviction be recorded because her client was young with no previous offences, and that Mr Dakin take into account Herne's good references and her remorse.

Police facts stated when Herne saw the victim inside the hotel she hit her on the arm. When the woman pushed Herne away and continued walking, Herne grabbed her by the hair and pushed her forward, causing her to fall to the ground.

Herne then kicked her in the head and chest until security and hotel patrons intervened and pulled her away.

The victim suffered a bruise to the left side of her head and lumps to the front and rear of her head.

Herne later admitted to police ‘I did it'. When asked why, she replied: “Because you don't go and hook up with your friend's ex-boyfriend so soon after.”

Mr Dakin said the evidence indicated that the victim had been in a relationship with Herne's former boyfriend and ‘emotions ran high'.

“To kick someone prone on the ground is regrettably all too common. You may beaffected by alcohol, but that is not an excuse. You are lucky not to be going to jail today,” he said.

Mr Dakin convicted Herne of the offence and placed her on a two-year good behaviour bond to be supervised byProbation Services.



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