iphone blurred text message.
iphone blurred text message. Catherine Merritt

School student charged over phone rage

A GLADSTONE student who dreams of being a teacher was taught a valuable lesson in the courtroom yesterday; you can't break what you don't own.

Lauren Marie Williams, 17, pleaded guilty in the Gladstone Magistrates Court to one count of the wilful damage to property without consent and causing damage worth $250 or less.

On April 27, 2017, the Gladstone State High School student was on an excursion at the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum with peers when the offending occurred, the court heard.

At about 10.30am Williams walked up to another peer and demanded to see the girl's phone text messages.

When she refused to hand her phone over, Williams 'snatched' it from the victim and began to walk away, reading the message thread on the screen, the court heard.

The victim asked repeatedly for her phone back, however, Williams held the phone above her head and began to yell at the victim.

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The victim came closer, so Williams, still holding the phone up high, pushed it face down up against the concrete wall.

The court heard a teacher came out and told Williams to return the phone, however, the screen was cracked and broken.

Gladstone Magistrate Melanie Ho asked Williams why she wanted to see the phone.

Williams told her that she had recently broken up with her boyfriend, and had heard that the girl had been sleeping with him.

Williams said she wanted to see the messages between the two, and when she asked the girl, got emotional and angry when refused.

"I acted out of anger, she said I could read the messages but she turned her shoulder and began to scroll up," Williams said.

"So I grabbed her phone, saw the messages, and yeah, smashed it."

Ms Ho asked Williams whether her ex-boyfriend was 'still an ex'.

Williams laughed and responded: 'no'.

Ms Ho said in that case, Williams had better keep her own phone away from the other girl; scoring a few laughs from those watching at the back of the courtroom.

Williams was placed on a good behaviour bond for four months and ordered to pay $150 in restitution to the victim.


  • 17-year-old offenders are treated as adults in Queensland's justice system. However, this will cease by the end of this year, after the Palaszczuk Government's historic legislation was passed by parliament on November 3 2016.

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