A mother and daughter who made global headlines after they were filmed having a fist-fight over toilet paper in a Sydney Woolworths have been found guilty of affray and copped a dressing down from the judge.
On March 7th this year – at the height of supermarket panic buying – Treiza Bebawy, 61, and her daughter Meriam, 23, were filmed placing eight packs of Quilton toilet rolls into their trolley at Woolworths in Chullora.
Another woman, 49-year-old Tracey Hinckson, nabbed one of the packs from the duo’s trolley leading to a violent fracas and the police having to be called by store management.
Yesterday, the case was heard at Bankstown Local Court in front of magistrate Peter Bugden, however, neither woman appeared in court.
“All of the civilian witnesses and staff recalled screaming people… It’s a classic affray,” Budgen said.
“What Meriam Bebawy did was to take the law into her own hands.
“I’m reminded of an analogy from rugby league … these days, it’s the second man into the fight that gets the penalty for prolonging it.
“Rugby league authorities have known that for some time,” the league-loving judge added.
The Bebawy’s barrister, Matt Fordham, argued that the mother was behaving “in a way most parents would … she sought to protect the health and wellbeing of her daughter”.
The magistrate also added that the toilet paper belonged to Woolworths until a customer had paid for it.
“Meriam Bebawy and Treiza Bebawy acted in a way that caused the fray to take place,” he said.
Bugden sentenced Treiza Bebawy – a childcare wroker – to a 12-month conditional release order without a conviction and handed Meriam – a health worker – a 12-month conditional release order with a conviction.
The Bebawys have lodged an appeal, which is due to be heard in the District Court on August 14.
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