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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Barrow mum avoids prison term for ‘disgraceful’ attacks

A DRUNKEN Barrow mum-of-two who slapped a taxi driver before attacking and hurling homophobic abuse at his colleague has avoided a jail sentence.

Emma-Louise Hill, of Fife Street, Barrow, had consumed eight glasses of wine on the night of June 8 before assaulting Geoffrey Torkington and Tracy McPoland.

She was sentenced to two concurrent 12-week prison terms, suspended for 12 months, yesterday after pleading guilty to two charges of assault at an earlier hearing.

She was also ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid work and pay £85 court costs, £50 compensation to each victim and a £80 victim surcharge.

Furness Magistrates’ Court heard Hill was planning a night out when the incident occurred.

Mrs Lisa Hine, prosecuting, said the group had got into a taxi driven by Mr Torkington in Church Street, Barrow.

Comments were made about his football shirt and the group became abusive. The taxi was stopped and Mr Torkington ordered everyone out of his cab.

After swearing at the man, Hill slapped him in the face with the back of her hand, causing pain to his eye.

Mrs Hine told the court: “The driver feared for his own personal safety and a male in the front of the cab got out and booted the door closed.”

The court heard Ms McPoland, who was working in a nearby taxi office, came out after hearing the commotion.

She told the group they would not be getting another cab, at which point she was “screamed at” and subjected to homophobic language by Hill.

The court heard she pushed the victim and dug her nails into her face. Ms McPoland managed to push her attacker to the floor.

Mr Mike Graham, defending, said: “She had been out drinking the majority of the day which is unusual to her.”

The court heard she had not drunk for around two years and could not remember the attacks.

Deputy district judge Mr James Hatton, passing sentence, said: “It was a disgraceful incident and I think you recognise your behaviour was shocking.”

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