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Monday, 06 July 2015

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Drunken Barrow care worker assaulted taxi staff

A BARROW mother-of-two could face prison for hitting a taxi driver in a row over his football shirt, and subjecting his colleague to homophobic abuse.

Emma-louise Hill assaulted the pair after consuming eight glasses of wine, Furness Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday. It was the 28-year-old’s first drink in two years, following the birth of her second child.

Mr John Appleby, prosecuting, told the court the defendant and her friends had taken offence at the football shirt Geoffrey Torkington was wearing when he picked up their fare at 10.30pm on June 8.

After he asked them to get out of his taxi, Hill shouted an expletive-laden insult at him before hitting him twice in the eye with the back of her hand. Her party then went to the taxi firm’s office in Church Street, Barrow where she turned on the victim’s colleague, Tracey McPoland.

Mr Torkington saw the defendant grab Ms McPoland’s face with her nails digging into her cheek, before swearing at her, using homophobic terms and calling her a “fat lesbian” when she pushed her away.

Ms McPoland said Hill had come into the office talking about Mr Torkington’s shirt, being loud and aggressive.

After she radioed for help, the defendant came up to her face so their noses were touching and shouted the insults described by Mr Torkington. Ms McPoland said it was these words, and the fact they were being shouted so loudly in the street, that she was bothered by more than the physical assault.

In her interview, Hill said she had been drinking since 2pm and could remember arguing with both victims but could not recall the physical assaults or homophobic comments.

Miss Karen Templeton, defending, said: “This is something very much out of character. Not only has this woman never been to court before, she is a care worker and has been in a responsible position for five years. Whether she will be able to continue that now, I don’t know. It may be that her career is over. She has sentenced herself for much of this.”

Hill, of Fife Street, Barrow pleaded guilty to two charges of assault by beating.

The magistrates asked for a pre-sentence report and warned they were not ruling out a prison sentence. The case was adjourned until September 2.


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