A mother has avoided jail despite pleading guilty to hitting her eight-month-old daughter with a spoon, leaving her face bruised.

Lorien Norman, 26, from South Australia, faced a maximum of 13 years behind bars, but was given a 21-month suspended sentence with a two-year good behavior bond and a $500 fine after the District Court judge said baby Evie’s injuries were “likely to resolve”.

Lorien called emergency services at 4 a.m. in October last year, threatening to throw the baby off her apartment balcony, according to court documents. When police arrived, they saw that Evie had purple bruises on her face so they took both mother and daughter to the hospital.

Court documents said the mother initially lied to police that Evie had fallen off a play gym, but a doctor determined otherwise. Evie had injuries consistent with physical assault and had “at least eight separate blows to her face and body.” The doctor said some of the injuries appeared to be caused by the “black slotted spoon” seized from the kitchen at the address.

In spite of that, Lorien walked free. Judge Costello noted that she had a “troubled adolescence” and had been in and out of an Adelaide clinic with a bordeline personality disorder.

“You are clearly remorseful for your actions,” the judge said.

The baby’s father Shane McMahon expressed outrage at the judge’s decision on social media, saying he has “no faith in the system.”

“I’d be still in jail if I did this to a child,” he wrote on Facebook.

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