87-year-old man bashed for smiling

A COODANUP woman who bashed an 87-year-old man after he smiled at her has been jailed for almost a year.

Christine Karen Lee Hayward pleaded guilty to multiple charges at Mandurah Magistrates Court last Tuesday, including assaulting the driver of a passenger vehicle, four charges of assaulting a person working in a hospital, assaulting a public officer, two charges of common assault, and unlawfully assaulting and causing bodily harm with circumstances of aggravation.

The court heard the 87-year-old victim, who requires a walking aid to stay mobile, had never met Hayward before he was beaten in his front yard on May 6.

Hayward was involved in an argument with her sister on the street outside her victim’s home, the police prosecutor told the court.

The victim was outside watching tradesmen work, when he smiled at Haywood.

Hayward walked on to his property, picked up a star picket and hit him four to six times in the face, but left when her sister convinced her to stop.

The man sustained serious facial injuries.

On another occasion, Hayward spat at and assaulted workers at Peel Health Campus, and assaulted a taxi driver.

Magistrate Vivien Edwards said she took into account Hayward’s psychological report and the seven weeks she had already spent in prison before deciding on her sentence.

She read out parts of Hayward’s psychological report, which demonstrated a history of substance abuse, psychotic symptoms and epilepsy.

The report said Hayward’s mental health issues were poorly controlled.

It said Hayward has a high risk of offending in the future.

Magistrate Edwards said she took into account the Supreme Court’s recommendations in regards to sentencing people with mental health issues.

“I need to weigh up the mental health issues you suffer from Ms Haywood, and the safety of the public,” she said.

In the end she considered that public safety was paramount and Haywood received a jail sentence of nine months for assaulting the 87-year-old man.

She received a further two months for assaulting a public officer and will not be eligible for parole, meaning she will remain in prison until next May.

Haywood’s sentence also included one month each for assaulting four hospital workers and the taxi driver, which will be served concurrently with her 11-month sentence.

She was also fined $1600 for other offences – including breaching bail, damaging property, drug related offences and giving false details to police.