Girl's assault posted on internet
AN attack on a teenage girl at a Rockhampton park was recorded and then posted on internet sites Facebook and YouTube, a Rockhampton court heard yesterday.
Luaiteine Paiaaua had gone to the park with the intention of resolving an ongoing feud with another teenager, but instead was bashed.
Defence solicitor Karen Dunham said Paiaaua had received a text message telling her to go to the park and she naively accepted the invitation.
The text message came a couple of days after Paiaaua was involved in a physical confrontation with the same girl near a party in Rockhampton’s Simpson Street on December 5.
At the party, shortly after midnight, Paiaaua recognised the 18-year-old girl she had been in a dispute with.
Police prosecutor Barbara Barton said Paiaaua walked towards the girl and punched her.
Ms Barton said the victim retaliated and hit Paiaaua back.
She said despite a number of people trying to pull Paiaaua away, she continued to fight and hit the victim in the head about six more times causing her to fall to the ground.
Paiaaua was fined $100 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday after pleading guilty to common assault in relation to the party incident.
Ms Dunham said her client had said it was not entirely her fault, but she knew she shouldn’t have got involved.
Ms Dunham said Paiaaua witnessed the video of when she was attacked at the park on the social networking sites Facebook and YouTube.
Dr Alan Keen, a clinical psychologist and senior lecturer at CQUniversity, yesterday said the prevalence of incidents of abuse among young people using these websites to expose violence was a new phenomenon and was becoming more common.
Although the internet had become a vital tool for instant news worldwide, being so freely accessible, often young users weren’t aware of the dangers involved with misuse, he said.
“There is a need to move towards educating people (internet users), especially some youngsters who are illiterate to the potential dangers of exposing incidents like this,” Mr Keen said.
He said it was concerning that this sort of exposure attracted and motivated other people to be involved in similar acts.
Mr Keen believed there should be some form of legislative and legal action brought to bear against those who abused the sites.
This follows concerns earlier this week when a worried mother found a strange contact on her daughter’s Facebook account leading her to fear the 12-year-old was being targeted by a pedophile.
The Rockhampton mother noticed one male “friend” had been asking her daughter strange questions and acting as if he were a friend of the family.
She later learned that the man was not in fact a friend of those he claimed to have known, so she took her daughters off the Facebook account.
There is a need to move towards educating people (internet users), especially some youngsters who are illiterate to the potential dangers of exposing incidents like this