Wooden spoon mum speaks out after court ordeal

A Perth mother has spoken out about the hurt she has felt since being charged with common assault after hitting her child on the buttocks with a wooden spoon at home.

Tania, 35, was found to have used an unnecessary amount of force when she hit her nine-year-old daughter with the spoon in October last year at their Ellenbrook house.

Police prosecutors said the incident took place between 6pm and 8pm one evening after the girl took old hamburger meat out of the fridge after her mother had told her not to.

When the woman saw her daughter eating the meat, which had worming tablets inside and was meant to be given to their dogs, she hit her with the spoon. The force caused the girl to bruise.

She told Nine News Perth she found her daughter eating the hamburger meat in the theatre room.

"I panicked and out of frustration, having a lot of difficulties with her behaviour I just had a moment of frustration," she said.

"It was the extreme panic thinking, 'did I put that medication in those burgers?' The fact that she could have been on the floor frothing at the mouth, that was my main thought."

Tania said she pleaded guilty because she did smack her daughter but denied it was as hard as prosecutors claimed.

She said she cried most days.

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"I haven't been the same since, shaking, mortified," she said.

"There are so many other people out there who deserve to go through what I've gone through and they're sort of putting all their time and effort onto me."

She said she still believed in disciplining children.

"I believe that discipline helps our society and our children, they've got to learn respect and integrity and you just can't get away with doing naughty stuff," she said.

"How do we do that now these days?"

The mother’s lawyer, Stephen Preece, told the court the woman had no previous criminal record and her daughter had ongoing behavioural issues including ADHD and was being treated by a paediatrician.

He described the single-strike incident as “a moment of frustration”.

In sentencing the woman in Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday, the presiding Magistrate gave her a suspended $750 fine and a spent conviction.

“You struck your nine-year-old with a wooden spoon and by your plea you accept that the force you used was more than necessary to correct her,” he said.

“I’m satisfied this is unlikely to happen again.”

A second charge against the woman of having care for a child that was reckless was dropped by the state.

It emerged that charge related to the girl complaining to police her mother used to lock her in her room.

The court heard the mother was a victim of domestic violence and that the girl had witnessed violence in the home.

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