Baseball-bat attack mum is spared jail

THE entrance to Hucknall National Primary School where the two mums clashed.
THE entrance to Hucknall National Primary School where the two mums clashed.

A MUM who attacked another parent with a baseball bat outside a Hucknall school has been spared an immediate prison-sentence — because she is the sole carer for her daughter.

A court heard that Claire Mitchell (28), formerly of Belvoir Street, Hucknall, took the weapon from the boot of her car and “threatened to kill” Julie England (43) in the flare-up on Montague Road near the gates of National Primary.

Mitchell, who has now moved out of Hucknall, became enraged on the morning of Friday September 23 last year, Nottingham Crown Court was told

Both women were dropping off their daughters at the school when Mitchell’s girl stepped into the road and Mrs England, who was driving a Vauxhall Astra, had to brake to avoid hitting her.

Andrew Tanser (prosecuting) said that Mitchell became abusive and after taking her daughter into school, she returned to her car to collect the 70cm wooden bat.

She ordered Mrs England out of her Astra car. Mrs England’s nine-year-old daughter was screaming hysterically.

There was then a scuffle in the road and Mrs England suffered a small cut and bruising to the back of her head. A clump of her hair was also pulled out and she later received treatment at King‘s Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield.

The women were separated by passers-by, and the police were called, Mr Tanser told the court.

At the time of the attack, Mitchell was a client at the John Storer drug-treatment unit in Nottingham to tackle a problem with amphetamine use, the court heard.

She pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to common assault and possession of an offensive weapon. A not-guilty plea was accepted against the more serious charge of assault causing actual bodily harm (ABH).

Judge Michael Stokes, the Recorder of Nottingham, gave Mitchell a four-month prison sentence, suspended for a year, with 12 months of supervision.

He told her: “There are a number of aggravating features. Not only that it took place in front of one child and probably several others but it also indicates a complete loss of control.

“This undoubtedly crosses the custody threshold, given where it took place and that children were frightened.

“On the other hand, you have no previous relevant convictions or cautions, and you are the sole carer of a young child, which is relevant in deciding whether you should go to prison.”

At the previous hearing, the court heard that Mitchell was bi-polar, which is a condition where symptoms include mood swings. But at the sentencing, it was revealed this had never been formally diagnosed.