Day At The Track

Queen of racing awarded $30,000 compensation

08:20 PM 29 Jan 2021 NZDT
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Deni Roberts, harness racing
Deni Roberts has been awarded $30,000 in compensation after being struck in the head with a stiletto heel following a night out

"Queen of harness racing" is awarded $30,000 after being 'struck in the forehead with a stiletto' by a Vet nurse on a night out - saying the scare left behind caused her irreparable damage.

One of Australia's young 'queens of racing' has been awarded $30,000 after being struck in the head with a stiletto by another woman during an argument. 

Deni Roberts is one of the biggest names in harness racing in her home state of Western Australia, having won 100 horse races since her first victory in 2015 and being promoted as a charity ambassador by the sports' chiefs. 

The 25-year-old had been attending an awards event at Crown Casino in September 2017 when she got into a heated argument with veterinary nurse Asha Vanmaris, reports The West Australian

Ms Vanmaris was also a guest at the the Harnass Horse of the Year awards and, after the presentation, moved on to Silks restaurant with Ms Roberts and other friends,  where the previously simmering argument boiled over. 

Asha Vanmaris was convicted of causing unlawful wounding to Ms Roberts after the September 2017 fight

The pair became involved in a push and shove outside the casino complex on the street which ended with a 3cm gash to Ms Robert's forehead. 

'While they were standing on the footpath out of the sight of the others, (Ms Vanmaris) ran up to (Ms Roberts) and struck her with a stiletto shoe to the right side of the ... forehead. (She) stumbled and fell to the ground,' court documents stated.

The rider was treated at hospital while Ms Vanmaris was arrested and charged with unlawful wounding. 

The vet nurse claimed in court in December 2018 she was acting in self-defence but a magistrate found this was not the case. 

Ms Vanmaris was given a spent conviction and a $2,500 fine. 

She was also given a four month ban from the racetrack which was overturned on appeal. 

Ms Roberts maintained that the attack had left her hyper-vigilant and nervous while the scar had left her self-conscious and applied for compensation for criminal injuries. 

Ms Vanmaris argued in court she continues to work at the same racetrack as Ms Roberts, whom she sees twice weekly, and she seemed unaffected.  

'She does not, nor has she ever seem fazed from the injury. She does not wear make-up over the area. She continues doing her job and I mine,' Ms Vanmaris said. 

Compensation assesor Karina Hafford found in favour of Ms Roberts saying the visible location of the scar would serve as a constant reminder of the offence. 

Ms Vanmaris was ordered to pay $29,533.25 minus the $2,5000 already paid to Ms Roberts. 

By Brett Lackey

Reprinted with permission of The Daily Mail Australia


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