A WOMAN who armed herself with a tyre lever to confront the woman who called her a paedophile on social website Facebook had been convicted and fined $1500.
Tammy Smith, 22, of Crawley Street, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to using threatening words, possessing a dangerous article and dangerous driving.
She was convicted, fined $1500 with $73.20 costs and her driver’s licence was cancelled for six months.
Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said the case appalled him in many ways.
He said Smith was attacked on Facebook but people say and wrote stupid things on Facebook all the time.
The magistrate said a victim of such behaviour was not then entitled to arm themselves and threaten violence in response.
“The way people use Facebook to vilify and abuse others is a scandal,” Mr Klestadt said.
“What is worse is that people think they can take the law into their own hands.
“If this keeps going pretty soon we will be in a lawless community.
“You armed yourself and then drove in a way that was likely to put others at serious risk,” he told Smith.
Police told the court that on February 9 this year Smith drove her Holden sedan to the victim’s home and got out of the car, which she left running in the middle of the road, before approaching the home armed with a tyre lever.
The court heard that her actions were prompted by a comment on Facebook in which the victim had labelled Smith a paedophile.
Smith then returned to her car and drove away at an estimated speed between 60 and 70km/h in a 50km/h zone before doing a U-turn and returning, skidding her wheels on grass and doing a 360-degree burnout before again speeding off.
When asked by police why she was armed with the tyre lever, Smith said she was “going to get” the victim with it.
Defence counsel Xavier Farrelly said the Facebook comment was made about a long-time family friend and his client had clearly taken great umbrage to the comment, but had then acted and drove inappropriately.