Jailed for making racist threats, breaching order

After having her baby taken from her, a woman made a series of racist threats to her Oranga Tamariki case worker, a court has heard.

Tamara Charmaine Bryant (29) had been dealing with the woman for eight months after her child had been taken from her almost immediately after she was born, the Dunedin District Court heard yesterday.

On January 8 this year, tensions had peaked.

Bryant’s partner called Oranga Tamariki to discuss the situation and the defendant could be heard screaming in the background.

"You are a meth-using maggot," she yelled at the case worker.

"Don’t worry I have organised people to get you."

The comments then took a racist turn.The defendant, living in Invercargill at the time, said the city was small and she would track down the victim.

"It won’t be that hard, I’ll find out what supermarkets you use and sit outside and get you that way," she had shouted.

The Oranga Tamariki staffer tried to calm Bryant  but in a second call, made 10 minutes later, it was obvious she was still irate.

Bryant said she had "nothing to lose".

"You’re going to get it," she said.

"I’ll find you and get you, then kill myself."

Counsel Sophia Thorburn said her client struggled with her temper and explained  she had never got to say goodbye to her child before she was taken from her.

There had been no closure, Ms Thorburn said.

Yesterday at sentencing, however, she said the defendant had met the child’s foster parents and was relieved the girl would  be given opportunities she never had.

As well as the threats to kill, Bryant had also pleaded guilty to breaching a protection order.

She saw her ex-partner’s vehicle in Dunedin and, believing he owed her money, repeatedly instructed the driver of the car she was in to ram him.

He refused but as they pursued the victim around town, Bryant threw a can out of the window at him.

The man eventually evaded them and went to the police station.

"She needs help with her anger and more intensive counselling," Ms Thorburn said.

"She wants to break the cycle, she just doesn’t know how at this stage."

She argued Bryant should be sentenced to home detention but Judge Kevin Phillips said that would be inappropriate.

He highlighted a long history of violent offending which featured more than 18 breaches of sentence.

Bryant was sentenced to seven months’ imprisonment.

"Two more months to go and I’m out," she shouted to a supporter as she was led to the cells.

rob.kidd@odt.co.nz

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