An image from video showing an elderly man being assaulted on a bus at Kirra.
An image from video showing an elderly man being assaulted on a bus at Kirra.

Gold Coast bus attacker's sentence increased

A TWEED Heads woman who made headlines across the nation after a video of her drunken attack on a vision-impaired pensioner on a Gold Coast bus went viral has had her jail sentenced increased.

But despite the increased sentence Lana Janet Watmough, 22, will not spend a night behind bars.

Watmough pleaded guilty September 17 last year in the Southport Magistrates Court to seriously assaulting Paul Buttigieg, 77, in the unprovoked attack on February 24 last year and subsequently received a two month suspended jail sentence.

She was also ordered to pay $500 compensation.

Former Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie appealed the sentence claiming it was manifestly inadequate and not in line with community expectations.

The court heard, during a hearing last month, that since the incident there had been numerous death threats made against Watmough and she had found it hard to find employment due to being recognised from the video.

Defence barrister John Allen said Watmough was extremely remorseful for her actions, had no history of violence and had started seeing a psychologist.

Judge Paul Smith, in handing down his decision on Monday, said there was no doubt the attack was vicious and unprovoked and agreed the sentence was inadequate.

He ordered Watmough be jailed for six months but ordered the sentence be wholly suspended for 18 months.

"I note that she has been employed since the sentence, continues to report to the probation office, has paid the compensation ordered and continues to see a psychologist," he said.

"I note there have been death and rape threats against her and she has been depressed as a result of this.

"She had been a drug user but no longer takes such substances." - APN NEWSDESK.


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