WHAT began as a harmless request turned into a heated confrontation, in which a woman abused Centrelink staff and damaged a customer's vehicle.
At Ipswich Magistrates Court this week, Jascinda Ngavaine Teroi pleaded guilty to public nuisance and wilful damage charges.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Brad Dick said the 28-year-old had been waiting in line at the Goodna Centrelink office when a fellow customer asked if she could take a few steps back.
Sgt Dick said the female customer had been having a private discussion with a Centrelink employee and felt Teroi was standing close enough to overhear the conversation.
Teroi responded by launching a verbal tirade against the woman and tried to pick a fight with her.
Sgt Dick said the mother-of-three continued to swear and make threats as she was removed from the building by security.
Teroi waited for the customer to leave the building, and then resumed abusing her.
The victim attempted to avoid Teroi by seeking refuge inside her car and driving away.
Before the woman fled the scene, Teroi kicked her vehicle, which caused a dent in its passenger-side door.
The incident took place on October 26 about 11.25am.
Police later found Teroi and charged her with the offences.
She told police she had kicked the car because she was upset about being removed from Centrelink and as a consequence was not able to get money for her children.
Defence lawyer Leah Scott said Teroi was a mum to three young children and was employed at a biscuit factory.
Ms Scott said her client had started seeing a psychologist and had been undertaking counselling to address her anger management issues.
Magistrate Deborah Vasta noted that it was the 11th time Teroi had appeared before the court for offences.
Ms Vasta told Teroi that her behaviour at Centrelink was disgusting.
"It is a very tough place to work and the people there do not need you adding to the stress of that environment," she said.
"You've taken your anger out on people and it's not acceptable - I certainly don't want to live in a community where people get angry for no reason.
"At 28 years of age, you should know better. One would expect that a mother who has raised three children would have more patience."
For both offences, Teroi was sentenced to six months in jail and released on parole.
Ms Vasta also activated the one-month suspended sentence which Teroi had breached.
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