Ballarat grandmother sentenced to community work for assault

A BALLARAT grandmother who bit a hospital worker on the arm after refusing to leave the premises appeared in court yesterday. 

Rachael Bride, 35, pleaded guilty in Ballarat Magistrates Court to intentionally causing injury, after biting a Ballarat Base Hospital security guard on the forearm. 

The court heard that on May 15 last year Bride was visiting her daughter, who had just given birth at the hospital. 

When Bride was told she could not visit her daughter and new grandchild in the birthing suite, she started abusing hospital staff, nurses and security.

After Bride tried to get inside the birthing suite, a hospital security guard intervened, which resulted in Bride biting the guard’s right forearm. 

Ballarat police prosecutor Senior Constable Pepe Brown said Bride decided to bite the security guard because he was pushing his arm against her face. 

“She said that the arm was in her face and bit it so he would move out the way,” he said.

Bride’s lawyer Jeremy Harper said his client had recently undergone dental work and was in pain at the time of the incident. 

“The arm was across her face and caused a lot of pain,” Mr Harper said. 

Mr Harper said Bride also suffered from depression and anxiety. 

“It was a very stressful and difficult day, her daughter was having her first child,” he said. 

Magistrate Kay Robertson sentenced Bride to a community corrections order for 12 months, including 100 hours community work. 

“You are required to undergo treatment and assessments in relation to drugs and mental health,” Ms Robertson said. 

Ms Robertson said the offence was serious, especially in a hospital setting. 

“This is a serious offence, your offence involving biting is serious,” she said. 

“You (were) in a hospital situation where everyone is tense and nurses have it hard enough.”

Ms Robertson advised Ms Bride to continue counselling for substance abuse.