A Barrack Heights woman who repeatedly hit her love rival with a metal pole after learning the woman had fallen for her husband has been ordered to do 400 hours of community service work as punishment.
Belinda Elizabeth Kemp was charged with reckless wounding over the December 2016 incident, which left the victim requiring stitches.
Court documents reveal Kemp and her husband Scott struck up a friendship with the woman soon after she moved to the Illawarra in mid-2016.
The relationship between the trio soon turned “intimate” and the woman eventually moved in with them.
However, by early December Kemp suspected the woman had fallen in love with Scott and told her to move out.
The woman obliged, but became angry when she discovered a few days later that her former lovers had blocked her on Facebook.
In retaliation, she took to a street near where the couple lived with a can of spray paint, writing her name followed by “loves Scott” on the bitumen.
This prompted Belinda Kemp to drive to the victim’s new house and, steel pole in hand, confront her.
At one stage the victim raised a glass bottle above her head, prompting Kemp to hit her three times with the pole, causing a deep cut on the woman’s right elbow where she had raised her arms to defend herself.
Kemp was arrested at her home a few hours later.
In court on Friday, defence lawyer Lemar Miakhel said his client had not been taking medication for her mental illness at the time of the incident.
He said Kemp had faced considerable embarrassment after the Mercury published details of the case during prior court proceedings.
“I’d like the court to consider the impact of the matter on my client and her family as well,” he said, adding Kemp had apologised to the victim, who was no longer living in the state.
Magistrate Michael Stoddart condemned Kemp’s behaviour but stopped short of jailing her due to her limited criminal history.
“You’ve only got yourself to blame,” he said.
“I’m taking one step back from a jail sentence but you’re right on the brink and I think you know that.
“You’re lucky things didn’t get worse than what they did that day.”
He also fined Kemp $1000 for resisting arrest at the time of her apprehension.