A mother who struck her three-year-old child and squeezed his face to the point of bruising was coming down from a methamphetamine high, a court has heard.
The 36-year-old woman, who cannot be named because of a suppression order to protect the boy’s identity, has admitted she was not in a state to care for her children when the incident occurred on December 28.
She had reacted after finding her son had vomited in his bed at their Wodonga home and thought he was lying about what happened.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Mario Eliades told Wangaratta Magistrates Court this week the woman meant to hit the boy’s bottom, but he dropped to his knees and she struck him in the head.
“She held him on the face and squeezed him, leaving red marks on his face,” he said.
The mother then pushed the child away, causing him to hit his head on the furniture.
She admitted to police the force to cause the bruising was “not reasonable”.
“She admitted she had been coming down from using illicit drugs several days before the incident,” Sergeant Eliades said.
“She appeared remorseful for her actions.”
The mother also pleaded guilty to pushing her mother in the chest during an argument and refusing to do a drug test, after police pulled her over in her car on Elgin Boulevard on December 14 and she tested positive during a preliminary test.
She was placed on a 12-month community corrections order, with the conditions she undergo treatment for drug addiction and mental health, and her driver’s licence was disqualified for four years.
Solicitor Geoff Clancy said the woman was a victim of domestic violence and became “erratic” when her partner reintroduced her to the drug ice.
“She concedes she wasn’t in a position to be around the children at the stage,” he said.
“We’re all thankful (the child’s grandmother) was there to look out for things.”
The mother asked not be sentenced to community work as she did not want to associate with other criminals.
“She has done her best over the past seven months to stay clean,” Mr Clancy said.
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