Make them pay

A SAWTELL woman who suffered from a rock throwing attack has welcomed new laws that could send offenders to jail for up to five years - but wants youngsters who are found guilty to be forced into community service, rather than prison.

Yvonne Oxborough knows all too well just how dangerous rock throwing can be.

Back in August, the Sawtell disabled pensioner was driving her classic car - a 1983 JPS BMW - under the highway rail overpass near Park Beach Road in Coffs Harbour when she heard a terrible bang.

She later noticed two boys atop the rail bridge and when she discovered some nasty dents in her car, put two and two together.

"It's downright bloody dangerous. When the rocks hit my car it was at night and it gave me a hell of a fright," Yvonne said.

"I didn't swerve, but you've got to wonder what could have happened if it had been an inexperienced driver."

Yvonne has cautiously welcomed new laws which aim to stamp out rock-throwing.

Under legislation introduced into State Parliament on Wednesday, anyone who throws a rock at a vehicle will face up to five years' jail.

"If they're adults, they should be more responsible and held accountable," Yvonne said.

"If they're pre-teens or teens, they should do community service. I can't see it's going to benefit kids by putting them in institutions.

"I think if they have to forfeit their Saturdays for 12 months, it will make them think again.

"But if it's the first time they get into mischief and you lock them up, they will come out 10 times worse."

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