Mum admits baseball bat attack outside school gates

VIOLENCE erupted outside a Hucknall school when a mum attacked another woman with a baseball bat after a road-rage flare-up, Nottingham Crown Court heard this week.

Both women were delivering their children by car to the Hucknall National Primary School on Montague Road for the start of morning lessons.

But after a clash with another mum, Claire Mitchell (28) went to the boot of her car and armed herself with the wooden bat. She hit her victim, Julie England (43), on the head.

Mrs England suffered a cut to the back of her head and also had a clump of hair pulled out.

The court was told that both women fell to the ground during a struggle before shocked passers-by intervened and called the police.

Officers arrived and arrested Mitchell, of Belvoir Street, Hucknall, at the scene.

Mitchell originally appeared at Nottingham Magistrates Court but her case was transferred to be dealt with at Nottingham Crown Court.

When she appeared at the Crown Court on Tuesday, she pleaded guilty to common assault and having an offensive weapon.

A plea of not guilty to the more serious charge of assault causing actual bodily harm (ABH) was accepted.

Mitchell was bailed by Judge Michael Stokes, the Recorder of Nottingham, until sentencing on Monday April 30.

A probation report will be prepared and a note obtained from her doctor.

The court heard that Mrs England, who was driving a Vauxhall Astra, was dropping her child off at 8.45 am at the school on Thursday September 23.

Mitchell had arrived moments earlier in a black Ford Cougar.

It is alleged that Mitchell’s child ran across the road into the path of the Astra.

Mitchell was abusive to Mrs England and after taking her child into school, she fetched the baseball bat from the boot of her car.

She went over to the other mother, who got out of her car.

A struggle took place during which Mrs England was hit with the bat. She was taken to King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield, for treatment to a small cut that had to be glued together.

Jim Metcalf (prosecuting) said Mitchell had limited previous convictions. She described herself as bi-polar — a disorder typified by mood swings.

Digby Johnson (defending) said his client had mental-health problems and was on medication to, in her words, calm her.

She claimed she had “caught” the other woman on the back of the head with the bat.

The judge said in her statement that Mitchell admitted leaving her vehicle with intent but had abandoned any intent when she got to the other woman.

After the violence outside the school, the Dispatch received a Letter from a shocked parent who lambasted the attacker, claiming the assault had been witnessed by other parents and children at the school.