Violent home invader released after eight months

EIGHT months in prison should be enough for a Biloela 23-year-old to change her ways.

That's the hope of Gladstone District Court judge Michael Burnett, who yesterday ordered a 20-month prison sentence be suspended immediately.

Michelle Effie Williams, who has been in prison since June last year on remand, pleaded guilty via video link from prison to one charge of burglary with violence and one of assault, occasioning bodily harm.

She received a 20-month prison sentence on the home invasion charge, and a prison term of 249 days - the number of days she has already spent in prison - on the assault charge.

Both charges relate to an incident in Biloela on June 25 last year.

The court heard that Williams had been drinking with group for some time that day at a property next door to where the offences occurred.

After learning of an altercation at the next door property, Williams entered the house through an open back door and punched Lena Rose Waterton, knocking her to the floor.

Williams then punched her five times and pulled her hair, causing abrasions to her forehead and a swollen lip, among other injuries.

Prosecuting barrister Dejana Kovac told the court Williams' actions could only be described as a violent home invasion.

Miss Kovac said Williams' criminal history showed she was not a stranger to violence, and that previous court orders designed to deal with anger management issues and alcohol abuse had not worked.

"She has failed to take advantage of the opportunities which have been given to her," she said.

However, defending barrister Bill McMillan told the court that Williams had made an early plea of guilty and that she was remorseful of her actions.

"Alcohol, unfortunately, has been a feature of her life since age 18," he said, suggesting that her sentence be suspended.

"Then it will be up to her to get her life in order."

Judge Burnett told Williams said it was not in the community's interest that she be locked up in prison.

"You are only 23 but you have had numerous appearances in court. I hope you can learn self discipline," he said, as he ordered a period of two and-a-half years probation.



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