Stabbed security guard reveals impact of assault on her life
A TOWNSVILLE security guard attacked on the job has spoken out for the first time saying the court's sentence sent a "clear message" to those keeping our community safe.
Theresa Brown suffered injuries to her face, arms and hands after a 13-year-old girl stabbed her with a pair of scissors at the Garbutt Central complex in February last year.
"I am going to slit you b---h," the girl said after becoming abusive when Ms Brown tried to stop her stealing from a store.
On Friday a Townsville judge sentenced the girl, who is now 14, to four months' probation with no conviction recorded after she pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm while armed and attempted stealing.
Ms Brown was hired to bolster security at the centre when crime increased after the nearby police beat shut its doors.
"Even though I understand the youth criminal system … I also feel that the outcome has sent a clear message that security officers have no protection and the consequences are minimal," she said. She said others in the security industry were watching the case closely and she imagined the ruling would highlight their vulnerability on the job.
"There is no safety for security officers," she said.
"(They) run in a skeleton crew due to cost. We never know who we are coming into contact with."
She highlighted a number of issues in the industry including a lack of adequate training and protective equipment as well as the risk of dealing with people under the influence of drugs.
"A bearing vest (like police wear) would be a great resource, however most clients don't want security to wear them as it makes us look militarised," she said.
"I can understand this, but the lack of equipment puts me at risk."
The incident has had a lasting impact on Ms Brown - she is anxious when dealing with groups of teenagers and constantly worried someone could be armed.
"It is a thankless job but one I love doing," she said, adding that her only wish for the young girl was that she had a better future than the path she had started on.
"I would have liked to have been given the opportunity to speak with the young girl in hopes that she could see I am a person just doing their best to make a life for myself and my family," she said.
Ms Brown was denied the opportunity to face her attacker as the girl refused to participate in the restorative justice process.
Originally published as 'NO SAFETY': Stabbed security guard speaks out