Trawden Thai boxer mum jailed for Burnley town centre attacks
A TRAWDEN Thai boxer who smashed two teenage girls in the face when she meted out “vicious” violence outside a Burnley bar, has been locked up for 36 weeks.
Sophie Hodgkinson, who was out on the town after attending a boxing competition in Manchester earlier in the day, left her first victim with a broken nose after punching her in the face. The girl’s friend suffered a fractured jaw after Hodgkinson then turned on her and kicked her after she went to the ground in trouble outside Pharaohs. Both victims were 16 and one ended up having surgery after their night out was ended when Hodgkinson got drunk and was “out of control.”
Burnley Crown Court heard how, after injuring the teenagers, the defendant “re-enacted” what she had done after turning up at another pub. She was caught on CCTV demonstrating the techniques she used on her victims as well as carrying out the actual attacks minutes before.
The hearing was told how, when police arrived and an officer was putting Hodgkinson into the van, a friend approached and told her: “You will lose your licence for this.” The officer did not know what the woman meant until the defendant told him: “I am a Thai boxer.”
Hodgkinson, mother of a three-year-old child and a student at Burnley College, sobbed uncontrollably as she was led from the dock to start her term behind bars. The defendant (21), of Holme Crescent, had admitted two charges of assault causing actual bodily harm.
Mr Stephen Parker (prosecuting) said, on February 26th, the victims had gone for a night out, had been drinking at a friend’s home and were in the bar shortly after midnight. They were on the dance floor and there appeared to have been an incident between their group and another group of half a dozen women, of which the defendant was thought to be a member.
Door staff became involved and one of the victims, along with others, was escorted from the premises. Her friend came out to join her.
Mr Parker said the first victim could hear raised voices and was punched in the nose. She didn’t see who did it, but felt like her nose had been broken. She looked round and saw her friend on the ground. The prosecutor said: “The defendant walked over to her friend and, in the words of the first complainant, stamped on her friend’s head twice. Her friend appeared unconscious at that point.”
Mr Parker said the second victim had little or no recollection of what happened and only remembered being in the ambulance later. The first teenager had to have surgery on her broken nose to straighten it. Her friend received an undisplaced fracture of the right lower jaw bone.
The prosecutor said CCTV footage of the incident also showed the defendant walking to another pub and re-enacting what had happened. She was arrested and said: “I’m not going to lie to you. I assaulted her. She started on me.”
Hodgkinson claimed to police she struck the first victim as she went to hit her and alleged she had kicked the other in the head after she ran at her. The court was told the defendant had a previous conviction for assault causing actual bodily harm from the youth court.
Mr Philip Holden, for Hodgkinson, said she used one punch against the first complainant and one kick against the second. She was not responsible for causing the second teenager to go to the ground.
Others from her group were arguing, pushing and shoving with the victims’ group and Hodgkinson became involved as one of her friends was in the row and was pregnant. It didn’t excuse it. The barrister continued: “It’s a very unpleasant incident and I concede the court will be considering custody.”
Mr Holden urged the judge to pass a suspended jail term. He said Hodgkinson, who had a three-year-old daughter, would say she rarely drank and this was the last time she went out. He went on: “She has resolved not to go into town drinking, not to drink, but to spend more time at home and to concentrate on her studies.”
The barrister said the defendant was now no longer involved in Thai boxing as she had broken her ankle in a walking accident in July. He continued: “She has no intention to go back to Thai boxing or any other martial arts in the future.”
Sentencing, Judge Beverly Lunt, who had seen the CCTV recording of the violence and of Hodgkinson afterwards, said the punch was clearly unprovoked and the kick vicious. The judge said the victims’ injuries were nasty and told the defendant: “There can be no justification for what you did and you know it.”
Judge Lunt said the techniques Hodgkinson had demonstrated just before police arrived showed she plainly knew what she was doing. She said: “I accept none of it was premeditated. You were plainly out of control. It’s your job to think about your daughter and her interests before you go out and get drunk and behave like this.”
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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