Block star not penalised for city hotel assault
Troubled reality television contestant Suzi Taylor has been found guilty of a minor assault but not otherwise punished when she reacted in a way that might "have been predicted" after a deliberate set-up.
But Magistrate Rosemary Gilbert cleared her of stealing the phone of furniture removalist Thelma Anderson who Taylor assaulted at Gambaro Hotel in January.
"My concern is, it is clear that Ms Anderson set up the meeting for the purpose of there being filming," Ms Gilbert said.
"It would be, I think, churlish of me to take the view that what flowed from there would be not unexpected."
Today's verdict came after the trial in the Brisbane Magistrates Court last week where Ms Anderson was sensationally caught out conspiring with a television news reporter to stitch up Taylor during an altercation at a swanky Brisbane hotel.
During the hearing, Ms Anderson was caught lying by defence lawyer Michael Gatenby about the incident at the Gambaro Hotel in January, prompting him to urge the magistrate to charge her with a criminal offence.
Mr Gatenby submitted to the court Anderson should be charged over her "blatant lies", saying she had made a "mockery" of the justice system during her cross examination.
Witnesses have given evidence they heard Ms Anderson taunting Taylor, telling her "you're that fucking c-t off The Block" and "look at you, you think you're so good but you're just a filthy sl-t".
Police allege Taylor knocked a phone from Ms Anderson's hand as she recorded her and pushed her during the altercation.
But explosive video played to the court shows Ms Anderson taunting Taylor and at one point pushing her.
The court heard the pair had agreed to meet up at the hotel for Ms Anderson to give Taylor money that she allegedly owed to her for removal or storage fees.
During a combative cross examination Ms Anderson denied assertions that she was working with a Channel Nine crew who were "conveniently" at the hotel filming the altercation.
She also denied saying "you're that fucking c-t off The Block", claiming she didn't know Taylor had been on the show so she could not have said that and that she didn't talk to her clients like that.
But under further questioning she conceded she had been "untruthful" in claiming she didn't know Taylor had been on the show and also conceded it was "possible" she may have called her a "f-king c-t".
But Nine cameraman David Gibbs gave evidence Ms Anderson was in fact working with a male reporter from the network and they had spoken before the incident.
Mr Gibbs said he was tasked with filming the interaction between the two women and was given a description of Ms Anderson
Former Gambaro Hotel employee Daniel Hawkes also gave evidence he saw Ms Anderson push Ms Taylor.
"The other lady pushed Suzi Taylor and she fell backwards into a chair," Mr Hawkes said.
"The chair was knocked over."
He agreed he heard Ms Anderson taunt Taylor by saying things including "look at you, you think you're so good but you're just a filthy sl-t" and "you're that fucking c-t off The Block".
Ms Taylor's lawyer Michael Gatenby said he was disappointed in the verdict but noted his client had not been further punished beyond a finding of guilt on the assault.
During the trial he had argued Ms Taylor had been provoked into the assault by Ms Anderson's slurs and her filming of the incident. Provocation is a defence in an assault charge.
However Ms Gilbert found Ms Anderson's conduct did give rise to a provocation defence.
"I'm a bit disappointed with the outcome to be perfectly frank with you. I think that the behavior of Ms Anderson and the words she used would have caused a reasonable person to act the way Ms Taylor did," Mr Gatenby said outside court today.
" And so I'm disappointed in the outcome, but certainly the penalty that was imposed was a clear reflection of what the magistrate thought of the matter.
"She was given no penalty, she was found guilty of the offence but not otherwise penalised."
Originally published as Block star not penalised for city hotel assault