Stephanie is a senior reporter for the Rotorua Daily Post.

Update: Mother sentenced for assaulting daughter's bullies

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Katrina Caroline Hunt outside court today. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER
Katrina Caroline Hunt outside court today. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

A mother has been sentenced to 100 hours' community service for assaulting two girls who had "made her daughter's life a misery" for a year.

Katrina Caroline Hunt, 41, who now lives in Minginui, was sentenced today in the Rotorua District Court by Judge Geoff Rea after previously pleading guilty to two charges of common assault.

The assault came after ongoing concerns by Hunt a group of about 10 teenagers were bullying her 16-year-old daughter.

It happened outside Liquorland in Cambridge, where Hunt was then living, on the afternoon of August 10.

According to the summary of facts, Hunt was driving when she saw the teenage victims with a group of friends on the footpath.

Hunt parked her car and got into a confrontation with them, verbally abusing and threatening the victims, then aged 14 and 15.

She slapped one across the face and grabbed the other in a 'bear-hug' type move, punching her once in the face before throwing her to the ground.

Defence lawyer Gisele Schweizer told the court Hunt "deeply regretted her actions".

"This is a group of girls who used to be friends before the relationship broke down. From that point it is understood the defendant's daughter was subjected to social media and schoolyard bullying for a considerable amount of time.

"The stress and pressure of the bullying had built up and [Hunt] snapped. She says she would do anything to turn back the clock and drive past instead of stopping.

"The real sadness in this is the defendant's 5-year-old special needs son who has been deeply affected by the situation."

Ms Schweizer said Hunt's daughter had self-harmed, become socially isolated and experienced a decline in her wellbeing since the bullying began.

"The daughter is still receiving counselling and the consequences of the whole situation had been widely felt by the whole family.

"The defendant is not trying to prove in the court of law that these were the girls who had been bullying her daughter but she genuinely believes she attacked the people who had been making her daughter's life a misery for the last year."

Outside the courtroom, Hunt said she was relieved it was over and she and her family could move on.

"I'm just glad we're out of Cambridge and can put this behind us. My biggest fear though is that this will happen to another girl, someone who is not as strong as my daughter, and she will be tormented until she really does kill herself. That is my biggest fear."

Hunt said her son had been traumatised by the incident and was terrified to return to Cambridge. Her daughter is staying with friends in Hamilton and was looking at other school options for next year.

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