6 January 2023

Alleged broken bottle-wielding ex-beauty professional accused of 'psychotic' attack on doctor

| Albert McKnight

Alana Distefano, 33, was granted bail on an assault charge on Wednesday. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A former beauty professional accused of attacking a doctor she’d never met before while covered in blood and wielding a broken bottle has been told her alleged behaviour was bordering on “psychotic”.

The doctor was getting out of her car on Fairweather Circuit, Lyneham, on Tuesday afternoon (3 January) when she allegedly saw 33-year-old Alana Distefano coming towards her with blood over her arms, hands and shirt, court documents say.

She allegedly approached the doctor carrying a broken glass bottle and yelling threats like, “I am going to bash you up”. She also reportedly raised the bottle towards her and said, “I am going to kill you”.

Distefano allegedly pulled glasses from the doctor’s face, threw them to the ground, slapped her four times to her cheek, then pushed her backwards.

The doctor was scared her attacker was going to kill her and called for help. A man who was passing by heard her cries and intervened, putting himself between the doctor and, allegedly, Distefano.

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Distefano was arrested a short time later and was charged with assault, making a threat to kill and possessing an offensive weapon when she appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday (4 January).

Her duty lawyer applied for her to be released on bail, saying she was looking for work and used to run her own business in the beauty industry, a field in which she had qualifications.

She now lives on her own in government housing in Braddon, the lawyer said.

The prosecutor said the doctor had serious concerns for her welfare due to where she lived as Distefano goes to the area regularly.

Magistrate Ken Archer said the allegations were “obviously very troubling”.

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“[The doctor] must have been put in a high degree of fear and anxiety by what occurred,” he alleged.

“It could have only been a quite terrifying experience.”

He said the alleged behaviour bordered on “psychotic”, but also that it was clear the use of alcohol had affected Distefano.

Magistrate Archer granted bail on conditions that she not be near the doctor or the passer-by, not be in Lyneham and not use alcohol or drugs.

“You need to prove that is not you,” he told her.

The matter was adjourned to 27 January. No pleas were entered.

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