Bridge mother held — (The Gold Coast Bulletin)

SSRI Ed note: Woman in antidepressant withdrawal threatens to throw her 5-yr-old daughter off a bridge.

Original article no longer available

The Gold Coast Bulletin

04 Sep 07

A WOMAN who allegedly threatened to throw her young daughter off a Coomera bridge has been refused bail in Southport Magistrates Court.

The 27-year-old woman was arrested following a frantic incident beside the Coomera River on Saturday night in which bystanders watched in horror as she allegedly threatened to drop her daughter from the bridge.

The woman, who cannot be named as it would identify the child, sported a shaved head and sat solemnly in the dock during her brief court appearance.

Her partner and parents watched from the public gallery.

A police report alleged officers from the Gold Coast Child Protection Unit were alerted about 11.30pm on Saturday.

Witnesses allegedly saw the woman carry a child aged about five to the edge of the railing on the bridge near the Coomera boat ramp.

One person yelled: “What are you doing? Get off the bridge!”

The woman allegedly replied, ‘If I drop the kid it’s all your guys’ fault. Don’t call the police’.

She then allegedly yelled, ‘I’m going to drop her’.

The young child was allegedly crying in terror, screaming ‘Don’t drop me Mummy’.

After passing cars honked their horns, the woman allegedly dragged the girl to safety. When police arrived, she was allegedly passed out in the front seat of her car, with her daughter in the passenger seat.

Duty lawyer Mark Schofield said the woman had struggling battles with alcohol, depression and other mental issues.

But Magistrate John Costanzo was not convinced mental issues played much of a role in the incident and called on a mental health officer for evidence on her state of mind.

It was confirmed that she had been receiving medication for depression, but had stopped taking the medicine 10 days earlier.

Mr Costanzo refused bail for the woman, saying she posed ‘an unacceptable risk’ to herself and the community.

“I am worried about the safety of the defendant and of the public,” he said. But she could reapply for bail once she resumed her medication for depression.

Charged with endangering a child, she will face a committal hearing at Southport Magistrates Court on November 26.