Bruised, battered, bitten... but not broken
SHE was left with terrible injuries after a run-in with a drug-addled thief, but noble Ipswich newsagent Teresa Pearce does not see herself as a victim.
The 60-year-old was back at work barely a day after being attacked by a 33-year-old woman who had tried to steal more than $280 worth of products from her store.
Since the incident, which took place on Friday, June 19, Ms Pearce has been to court countless times to see that justice was done.
She walked out of Ipswich Magistrates Court satisfied yesterday, having seen Kimberly Leigh Povey, now 34, locked up until February 19 next year.
"I was pleasantly surprised," she said.
"I honestly thought they would let her out of jail today."
Prior to sentencing, Magistrate Andy Cridland saw photographs of Ms Pearce's extensive injuries, which came as a result of a prolonged attack.
The court heard that Ms Pearce followed Povey into a nearby adult shop after the defendant left the newsagency with a large number of items.
Ms Pearce closed the doors to the adult shop and told Povey not to go anywhere because the police were coming.
Povey's response was to punch, kick and bite Ms Pearce repeatedly, in an attack which lasted at least 90 seconds.
Prosecutor Nicole Friedewald said CCTV from inside the store showed the offender continuing to strike the victim even after she'd fallen to the ground.
Ms Pearce sustained a broken nose, swelling to her face and a large bite mark on her left forearm. She is still waiting for the results of a disease test.
"The victim impact statement shows that this was a traumatic event for the complainant," Ms Friedewald said.
"This assault was unprovoked, cowardly and prolonged."
Despite appearing at work the next day, Ms Pearce ultimately lost several days of business as a result of the attack.
Once she returned to work, the support she received from the community was overwhelming.
"The shop resembled a florist for a while," she said.
"The customer support was enormous; in fact one thing I learned is that the people who suffered the most were my elderly customers, because they were worried something like this could happen to them."
In sentencing, Mr Cridland said he had to take into account the defendant's abusive upbringing and her mental state at the time of committing the offence.
The court heard the defendant was on a mixture of methodone and prescription drugs at the time. Povey, who appeared from prison via video link, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm, stealing and drug possession.
Noting that Povey had spent 103 days in pre-sentence custody, Mr Cridland sentenced her to two years jail, setting a parole release date on February 19 next year.