DAY IN COURT: Karah Jo-Hanna Harris faced Chinchilla court for assault, July 23. Pic: Supplied
DAY IN COURT: Karah Jo-Hanna Harris faced Chinchilla court for assault, July 23. Pic: Supplied

Bundaberg mum attacked and hospitalised 75-year-old woman

AN ELDERLY woman was shopping in a store before she was attacked and hospitalised by Chinchilla woman Karah Jo-Hanne Harris.

Mother-of-six, Harris, 39, faced Chinchilla Magistrates Court on July 23 for assaulting a 75-year-old woman and sending her to hospital.

Police prosecutor senior constable Jodie Tahana told the court the victim's son was Harris' landlord and had a private rental agreement that had turned sour.

"There have been ongoing disputes following the tenant's eviction from that residence," snr const Tahana said.

Snr const Tahana said Harris bumped into the elderly woman while shopping in Bundaberg.

"At 12.28pm on the second of February the victim was shopping at the Reject Shop, at the Hinkler Central Shopping Centre, the defendant and her partner were at the shop at the same time," snr const Tahana said.

"They came together with shopping trolleys in the main aisle, and have both started to move towards the front."

Stepping away from her trolley, Snr const Tahana said Harris then told the victim, "you are carrying your son's baby."

"The victim was offended and said 'how dare you say something like that to me?'" Snr Const Tahana said.

The court heard Harris then slammed a trolley into the 75-year-old, casing the handle to hit her stomach, before she collapsed to the ground.

"The defendant walked away yelling 'your son owes me thousands of dollars'," Snr Const Tahana said.

"The victim… was transported to the Bundaberg Hospital, (she) received bruising to her left elbow (and) was nauseous for the following week."

Harris pleaded guilty to serious assault of a person over 60, and failure to appear with an undertaking.

Town agent for Legal Aid Queensland Claire Graham told the court the single mother fell pregnant with twins at the age of 16 and had not worked since.

Ms Graham said issues arose between Harris and her landlord when she had to endure five months with no running water.

"The matter did go through the Tenancy Tribunal," Mrs Graham said.

"My instruction is there has been a verbal altercation between the two of them and she has reacted and said something unsavoury.

"(Harris) said she is appalled at her behaviour for acting like that."

Ms Graham said Harris suffers from medical issues such as; Addison's disease, osteopenia, and had been diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety.

Magistrate Tracy Mossop said Harris faced a serious assault charge because she had assaulted a vulnerable member of the community.

"When a person is over the age of 60 the ability to cause harm is far greater to someone who is an elderly person," Ms Mossop said.

"I don't care what the circumstances were or what transpired between you and her son about the tenancy, nor do I care about the altercation that occurred in the shop, except for your conduct - you behaved appallingly.

"You've had the benefit of probation on two occasions and I accept that your criminal history is spread out from behaving disorderly in 2004... (and) you have been dealt with for common assault in 2015.

"You are now a mature woman.. with a number of children in your care and quite frankly you have no excuse to behave in this way."

Harris was convicted and fined $300 for failing to appear, and sentenced to a suspended prison sentence of three months - placing the mother of six on good behaviour for three months.