Racism linked to vicious bashing

POLICE have alleged there was a racial motive to gang violence in Rockhampton in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Mariah Freeman, 19, will spend the rest of the festive period behind bars after her application for bail was rejected yesterday.

Rockhampton Magistrate Annette Hennessy was told the teenager traded racial insults before shouting to a group including some Indigenous boys to "sort out these white *****".

It is also alleged Freeman spat in the eye of a police officer when she was arrested.

Freeman told police that the first racist insult had come from the other group, but they maintained they did nothing to provoke violence and had desperately called 000 a number of times fearing they would be bashed.

Police prosecutor Karen Dunham said Freeman, who lives in Henderson St, North Rockhampton, kicked one victim several times in the head after he had been punched to the ground during an attack on the Fitzroy River Bridge at about 2.45am.

One of the victims was allegedly hit with a plank of wood by another juvenile. Police also allege a quantity of cash was taken from one of the victims, but there was no suggestion that Freeman was involved.

Freeman, who is unemployed, has been charged with serious assault occasioning bodily harm in company. It is also alleged that during her arrest, she spat in the face of a police officer.

The officer claimed that spittle entered his eye.

Police prosecutor Dunham told the court that Freeman was violent to police and had to be subdued as she was placed into a police car. She allegedly spat onto the clothing of another officer and kicked another in the leg.

Police opposed bail because Freeman had a record of violence towards strangers. She had previously breached bail on a number of occasions and was dependent on alcohol.

The offences had been allegedly committed when she was very drunk.

"There is a considerable risk of her not surrendering to bail and committing further offences," said Ms Dunham.

Freeman was remanded in custody until January 23 when she is expected to face additional charges.

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