A mother charged with assault after hitting her child with a wooden spoon has spoken out, saying it was panic that drove her to do it.

Perth mother Tania, 35, hit her daughter with a “bruising force” after she took and ate old hamburger meat from the fridge in October last year.

Police came knocking five days later, charging her with assault.

Tania says she panicked after seeing her daughter eat the hamburger meat, which contained worming tablets mixed into the mince.

The mum had told her daughter to avoid the old meat, which had been prepared for the family’s pet dog and filled with worming tablets.

She feared her daughter would be poisoned.

“I panicked and, out of frustration, having a lot of difficulties with her behaviour … I just had a moment of frustration,” she said.

“It was the extreme panic thinking, ‘did I put that medication in those burgers?’ The fact that she could have been on the floor frothing at the mouth, that was my main thought.”

Tania was fined $750 and convicted of common assault and using an unnecessary amount of force in the incident after police found her daughter

Her defence lawyer, Stephen Preece told the court the mum had no criminal record and her daughter had ongoing behavioural issues, including ADHD, for which she was seeing a paediatrician.

The past nine months since the incident have left her traumatised, but she says she “wouldn’t have done anything differently”.

Did mum go too far?

Share your comments below

  • We don’t know whether or not the Mum already had the spoon in her hand for another reason. Some animals like food that is “off” and that’s probably why it was left to be used for the dog’s worming tablets.. Some children are compulsive eaters and will eat anything they like even when they’ve just had a big meal. A child I know was misdiagnosed as being ADHD actually has 2 types of Autism.


  • I can’t to do as it was done to me and it still horrifies me to this day that my mother subjected me to it


  • Sure we used to be able to hit kids… My own mum used a wooden spoon and I don’t care.

    BUT for child safety and police to have been contacted suggests this was not a one off; also that it was loud meaning excessive force.

    Throw the book at her.


  • Wasn’t that long ago when that was an acceptable form of punishment. Poor mother panicked when her daughter disobeyed something she was told for her own good. My husband had cops called once just for yelling at ours when he thought she’d eaten super glue. Crazy world we live in.


  • Wow! I don’t know that anyone knows what this poor Mum was going through or the entirety of her situation. I don’t believe this is something she would do regularly or necessarily again… but this was an unusual situation. I think she panicked and acted in fear.


  • Sounds to me this mum needs support and help dealing with her daughter, no fine.


  • I’m not sure that it’s a natural reaction to hit your child with a wooden spoon when you are in a panic. Was this hamburger meat cooked? This woman clearly needs help with her situation – not a fine.


  • Outcome is a bit extreme but i dont think the story adds up like why would she already put the medication in the meat and why hit your child so hard that it bruises because your stressed that you may have just poisoned them


  • I think the Mum needs help with the situation not criticism and being fined. Did they ever think they have just made life even harder for her. She just panicked as I’m sure we all would have done in that situation


  • I think this Mum needs more support. It was a bad decision but it sounds like there is a lot going on and more support is the most likely to prevent further incidents.


  • Gosh, it seems extreme to fine her. Perhaps the thing to do was provide her with some additional or extra support for her daughter’s behaviours?!


  • she was panicked ok but then she frustrated, this was frustration based not panic based


  • I would have taken her straight to the hospital so they could check her and give her something to vomit the meat up. I would not have taken to her with a wooden spoon. After all the child obviously didn’t mean to purposely eat the meat, she was most likely hungry.


  • I would’ve been more concerned than angry if she could’ve been poisoned


  • Interesting choice of words in the article. Days later when the police found her daughter… did the girl run away and then say it was because her mum hit her? I know what it’s like when your child is in danger, you do panic. She had told her daughter the danger of the meat and said not to touch it. Perhaps in her panic she thought a smack would get her to drop the burger and stop eating it much quicker and easier than asking her. Grabbing the burger from her may not have worked out either as the girl may have resisted, tried to run off whilst eating it or may have just shoved whatever was left in her hand in her mouth as defiance. I don’t believe the mother should have been charged over it. A warning at the very least, but not charged!


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