“Shut up you f--king foreign bitch or I’ll come over and slap you too”: Roma mother’s racist threat towards staff members at a local store.
“Shut up you f--king foreign bitch or I’ll come over and slap you too”: Roma mother’s racist threat towards staff members at a local store.

‘F--king slut’: Mother hurls racial abuse at Roma sales assistant

A ROMA mother launched into an abusive and racially vilifying tirade at a Coomber Bros Jewellers sales assistant after she returned a ring she had bought for her daughter.

The Roma Magistrates Court heard Roseanne Lee Burns entered the McDowall St jewellery store on the morning of June 12 to return a ring that didn’t fit her seven-year-old daughter.

Police prosecutor sergeant Caroline Boodnikoff told the court, Burns was unhappy when a sales assistant told her there would be a price difference so the mother replied “this is how you get no customers”.

Sergeant Boodnikoff said the worker immediately apologised as she was not there when Burns first purchased the ring and apologised for the price difference.

The court heard Burns yelled “you’re a sassy little bitch” and “f--king slut” before leaving then said “you’re a little tart, I’m not coming back”.

The owner of the store heard the disturbance from the office and ran out to the shop floor.

The court heard, a short time later the defendant returned to the store demanding a refund.

Sergeant Boodnikoff said the owner tried to calm Burns down, but she continued to yell and threaten staff.

The owner moved closer to the sales assistant to protect her and offered Burns a cash refund, rather than through her card to get the defendant out of the shop as quickly as possible.

Sergeant Boodnikoff said during the refund process, Burns continued to abuse staff and when a Fijian staff member told her it wasn’t nice the way she was speaking to people, Burns said “shut up you f--king foreign bitch or I’ll come over and slap you too”.

Roma police officers viewed the CCTV footage depicting the defendant’s behaviour.

Police officers issued Burns with an infringement notice, however she elected the matter to come before the court.

The prosecutor told the court Burns had a drunk and disorderly offence on her criminal history dating back to 2003.

Burns lawyer, L Parker said his client was feeling extremely anxious in court.

“She wasn’t her usual self that day – it arose from a bullying incident at work and she was trying to get it sorted,” he said.

“She’s been diagnosed with anxiety and suffers from depression.

Mr Parker said the combination of his client’s issues at work then the extra cost of a new ring gave rise to this incident.

“The ring didn’t fit the daughter so she took it back and wanted to change the size but the ring came back with one heart, not two,” he said.

“Then there was an added cost which she wasn’t aware of.

“So, she became very upset.”

Mr Parker submitted to Magistrate Peter Saggers that due to his client’s lack of criminal history, the matter be dealt with by means of a fine and the conviction not to be recorded.

The magistrate said “she could have just paid the ticket”.

Mr Parker said his client wanted to bring it before the court because it deeply affected her.

Saggers labelled the defendant’s actions as “bad behaviour”.

“You yourself have had difficulties in a workplace, so you should know that’s not how to speak to people,” he said.

“What you said to people working there, is not to be tolerated.

“They shouldn’t have to put up with that behaviour.

“Police issued you with a ticket, which you could have paid but whatever reason you believed it should come to court.

“The matter has been around for a long time now.”

Magistrate Saggers fined Burns $750 and the conviction was not recorded.


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