Monday, 11 May 2020 19:08

'Lager lout' mum brawled with woman in Wiltshire high street Featured

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A woman’s street brawl was likened by a Swindon judge to “handbags – until the claw hammer came out”.

Swindon Crown Court heard Heather Mitchell had consumed several cans of alcohol on June 1 last year and had her seven-month-old baby with her in a pram when she was involved in an altercation with another woman in Melksham town centre.

A man who witnessed the incident said the other woman was the original aggressor. The brawling pair were separated by onlookers, but Mitchell darted around the peacemakers and attacked her opponent.

The two women were separated by those watching, but Mitchell again rushed back into the fray.

Her opposing number went back to her house and returned with a claw hammer. Police arrived and arrested both women.

Prosecutor Hannah Squire said: “In interview she doesn’t really resile from what is seen by the witness. She accepted she had a couple of cans of lager and said she was encouraged to get involved in a fight by others who were standing by and accepted she could have and should have walked away.”

The court heard Mitchell had 31 previous convictions for 81 offences, including being drunk in charge of a child.

David Richards, defending, said his client had turned her life around completely. She was working with addiction service Turning Point and with social services. “She is now perhaps in a situation the courts in Essex, which dealt with her for so long would never have thought realistic.”

Mitchell, of Corsham Road, Lacock, denied affray but admitted a lesser charge of threatening behaviour.

She was given a 12 month community order with a four week curfew and 20 rehabilitation activity days.

Judge Peter Crabtree said: “She was behaving like a lager lout on the facts that have been presented to me, although this may not have started entirely through her own fault and certainly it seems the other lady emerged with a claw hammer.”

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