1491892720511 - Solo mother an example of alcohol’s harmful effects court hears

Solo mother an example of alcohol’s harmful effects court hears

A drunk solo mum punched, bit and pulled the hair of two tourists who called the police after she crashed her car.

Jessica Taylah Mewes, 22, appeared before Judge Garry Barkle for sentencing on charges of assault with intent to injure, assault, drink-driving and careless driving on Tuesday.

On January 20 Mewes and her partner, who had both been drinking alcohol for a considerable period, were at the carpark at New Plymouth’s Back Beach when an argument erupted, Barkle said.

Mewes’ partner got out of the car and had walked off when she attempted to drive away.

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She only made it a short distance before crashing and getting the car wedged on top of a rock, which Barkle described as fortunate.

“The less distance you drove that day the better.”

Two British tourists, who witnessed the crash, called the police but were attacked by Mewes.

​”You verbally abused and then punched him to the side of the head with a closed fist,” Barkle said.

Mewes than turned her attention to the man’s partner and pulled her hair before biting her on the forearm after the pair had tried to restrain her until the police arrived.

She ran off but was located a short time later.

Defence lawyer Nathan Bourke said the violent behaviour was an example of the “Jekyll and Hyde” effect alcohol had on the normally polite and well presented Mewes, who was supported in court by her mother and grandmother.

Bourke said Mewes had recently relocated to Eltham where no options for an electronically monitored sentence were available.

Barkle said while the two tourists suffered no lasting effects from the attack it had blemished their trip to Taranaki.

“It gave them a bad first impression.”

There had been a lot of people around, including children, when Mewes attempted to drive off, he said.

“It could have been that somebody else was seriously injured or killed.”

Barkle noted Mewes had amassed a number of assault charges in the past.

“That record is starting to look most unhelpful to you.”

He sentenced Mewes to a total of 15 months intensive supervision, 120 hours community work and fined her $500.


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