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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Argument over TV channel resulted in jail assault

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A Casino woman who allegedly assaulted an inmate after an argument about what to watch on television, assaulted two police officers last month as they attempted to arrest her, a court has heard.

Melanie Jane Caldwell was on remand in Sydney’s Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre on April 8, 2016 when inmates were fed lunch about 1pm.

While 30 year-old Caldwell and her cellmate were eating lunch, it is alleged an argument developed over the television, which escalated into an alleged assault.

‘The accused punched the victim as she was walking towards her cell from behind. The punch connected with the victim’s right side of her face, the victim felt immediate pain,’ court documents stated.

‘The accused continued to punch the victim to the head and face area multiple times.’

When the victim was moved from the cell she told Corrective Services Officers she fell down the stairs, but when she was released from custody she reported the assault to Toukley police, who took photos of her injuries.

On November 24, 2016, Ms Caldwell refused to be interviewed by police and was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and granted conditional bail.

When she failed to appear at court, a warrant for her arrest was issued on March 30.

On April 27, Ms Caldwell was arrested after she allegedly assaulted two senior constables about 7.45am at Casino, the warrant for her arrest was executed and she was refused bail.

On Monday at Lismore Local Court solicitor Ms McDermott said Ms Caldwell wasn’t required to appear from custody via videolink.

She told the court Ms Caldwell was seeking an adjournment so she could secure a place in a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Magistrate David Heilpern adjourned Ms Caldwell’s matters until June 5, for sentence, unless she is in rehabilitation.


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