Origin Star's Mum Wears Blues Scarf To Court Defending Assault Charges
The mother of Payne Haas, the 19-year-old making his State of Origin debut for NSW, is facing charges of assaulting a Gold Coast delivery driver.
Uiatu "Joan" Taufua allegedly held a delivery driver in place so two children could violently attack him for cutting her off in a Gold Coast McDonald's drive-through, a court has been told.
While her son is set to make his State of Origin debut next week, Taufua faced Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with assault occasioning bodily harm.
Magistrate Pamela Dowse blasted her for "unforgivable behaviour" and sentenced her to two years' imprisonment but then ordered immediate parole.
The court was told the mother of 10 went to McDonald's on July 25 last year when truck driver Keith Tyler accidentally cut her off.
Taufua followed Tyler into the loading dock with two children.
Security footage played to the court showed her confront Mr Tyler through the driver's side window.
He was verbally abused and called a "f**king dog" and, when he began filming the incident on his mobile phone, it was slapped from his hand.
The driver was punched and kneed to the head as Taufua held him in place by the shirt.
Bleeding profusely from his mouth and face, Tyler tried to record Taufua's number plate.
Phone footage shows Taufua call him a "f**king dickhead" before she slapped him across the face.
Tyler suffered severe facial injuries including a fractured cheekbone, a hole in his lip and a deviated nose.
Defence lawyer Lisa Searing said Taufua had 10 children, aged four to 21, including a quadriplegic son, and her husband was on a disability pension.
She also cared for an 84-year-old family friend named Pop and has taken in two other children.
Searing said Taufua reacted "emotionally" to being cut off because her son became a quadriplegic as a result of a car accident.
"She reacted differently to how the average person might react," Ms Searing said.
Off-field incidents involving Haas and his family have cost Haas, who was fined $20,000 for failing to co-operate with the NRL Integrity Unit's investigation.
As she arrived at the courthouse, Taufua told reporters her son's NRL career had nothing to do with the incident and she proudly wore a blue State of Origin scarf to court.
"Go the Blues," she said.
After sentencing, Taufua refused to comment but Ms Searing said her client deeply regretted the incident.