Defence lawyer Calvin Gnech with Yatala watchhouse officer Tammy Ann Bruce, 49. Picture: Alex Treacy
Defence lawyer Calvin Gnech with Yatala watchhouse officer Tammy Ann Bruce, 49. Picture: Alex Treacy

‘Don’t f*** around’: Officer slaps 13yo's face in watchhouse

A Queensland Police watchhouse officer became so frustrated at the behaviour of a young female detainee in Logan she slapped the 13-year-old girl in the face, telling her "don't f*** around".

Yatala officer Tammy Ann Bruce, 49, who joined QPS in 2007, pleaded guilty to a single charge of common assault stemming from an incident at Beenleigh Watchhouse on March 20 last year.

The court heard the incident occurred in the afternoon after 3pm.

The child victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been ejected from court after swearing at the magistrate and police prosecutor and was transported next door to the watchhouse, where she covered the cell's CCTV camera with wet toilet paper.

Defence lawyer Calvin Gnech with Yatala police officer Tammy Ann Bruce, 49, who assaulted a 13-year-old girl at the Beenleigh Watchhouse. Picture: Alex Treacy
Defence lawyer Calvin Gnech with Yatala police officer Tammy Ann Bruce, 49, who assaulted a 13-year-old girl at the Beenleigh Watchhouse. Picture: Alex Treacy

Bruce, who had had several dealings in the course of her employment with the child victim, attended the cell with another colleague.

The child victim and another child were in the cell, each sitting on opposite benches.

The court heard Bruce approached the child victim and slapped her once to the right side of her face with her left hand, saying "don't f*** around".

"It's obviously a concerning incident, she was in a position of trust and the victim was a 13-year-old girl," Mr Wise said.

He conceded the slap was "not at great velocity", but was "certainly enough to make out the charge".

Defence counsel Stephen Zillman told the court his client immediately self-reported the incident.

He said she was pushed over the edge by the child victim, who he described as a "serial offender" with a penchant for spitting at police and courthouse officers.

However, the magistrate warned him away from this line of argument, noting it strayed unacceptably close to victim-blaming.

Bruce was placed on a nine-month, $700 good-behaviour bond, less than Mr Wise had hoped for in submitting for a community-based order.

No conviction was recorded.

Originally published as 'Don't f*** around': Officer slaps 13yo girl's face in watchhouse


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