Attack victim too scared to go out

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A woman victim of a beer garden attack now wants to quit her home town because she is afraid to go out.

Sammy Lawton was on the ground when she was punched and had her hair pulled by a mother of five, Toni Wilkinson, at Crowland’s Abbey Hotel.

Spalding magistrates heard there was a history of animosity between the two women and on the night of the assault, Wilkinson shouted the word “slag” to Ms Lawton, who then raised a middle finger in response to the insult.

Reading Ms Lawton’s statement, prosecutor Marie Stace said the victim said the punches hurt and it seemed like the attack was going on forever.

Ms Lawton said: “I was just waiting for someone to drag her off.

“We both live in Crowland. It’s a small village. The assault has made me fearful of leaving the house.

“I almost feel like I am back at school being bullied.”

Miss Stace told the court: “She now wishes to move out of Crowland as a result.”

Wilkinson (26), of Millfield Gardens, Crowland, had pleaded not guilty to assaulting Ms Lawton at the East Street hotel in August last year, but was found guilty after a trial.

At Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Spalding magistrates ordered Wilkinson to do 120 hours unpaid work as part of a year-long community order.

They also imposed a two-year restraining order preventing Wilkinson from having any contact with Ms Lawton or Aaron Epton.

The court heard Wilkinson’s husband had been sentenced for an assault on Mr Epton following a guilty plea.

Wilkinson must pay £100 costs.

Solicitor Andrew Goldsborough said: “Mrs Wilkinson pretty much maintains her stance of self defence, but she accepts on the day of the trial she was found guilty by your colleagues.”

He said drink had played a part in the incident.

“Luckily it would appear that the injuries were of a temporary and minor nature rather than long lasting,” he said.