Pair attacked woman as ‘it’s something you do when drunk’

Burnley Magistrates Court
Burnley Magistrates Court
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A teenage mum and her ex-hairdresser drinking partner attacked a woman on a night out, with the 19-year-old claiming it was “something you just do when you’re drunk,” a court heard.

Burnley magistrates heard how Scarlett Elizabeth Kinsella (20) was said to have thrown Elizabeth Hind into the road where she was almost hit by a car, as well as punch her and drag her about by her hair.

Kinsella’s pal, Amy Barnes, put the boot in during the “unprovoked and sustained” attack in Colne town centre.

The court was told Barnes and Kinsella each had issues with drink and boozed to excess together almost every weekend.

Mother-of-one Barnes, who is on disability living allowance, was said to have shown no remorse for the violence.

Kinsella, of Temple Street, who is on jobseeker’s allowance, and Barnes, of Pine Street, both Nelson, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm on May 7th.

Each received a 12 month community order, with a 25-day rehabilitation activity requirement and must pay £50 compensation, an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Prosecutor Mrs Alex Mann told the court the incident happened at about 10pm. The victim was looking for her son, asked the defendants if they had seen him and one of them replied: “He’s a smack head.”

Mrs Mann continued: “The victim was unhappy with this and said ‘Excuse me, that’s my son. He’s never taken drugs’.

“She continued to go into Colne town centre, looking in pubs and on a couple of occasions they again crossed paths. At one point she walked into a pub and said she was being watched. Another time she looked through the window into a pool room.”

The prosecutor told the hearing Elizabeth Hind said both Kinsella and Barnes then walked towards her, shouting and screaming and she was pushed to the chest area and fell back onto the pavement.

Mrs Mann added: “She says ‘I remember being kicked and punched. I was scared. I remember Scarlett was on top of me at one point, punching me to the head. She had hold of my hair. I was kicked several times. It all happened so fast. Both of them then stopped and got off me.” Neither defendant had any previous convictions but both had cautions for drink-related offences.

David Lawson (defending Kinsella) said: “It’s accepted this was unprovoked as such, but there was a background to it which clearly caused the incident to boil over.

“Scarlett accepts it was totally out of order and she bitterly regents her involvement in this incident.

“Drink has played a part over the last few years and it has contributed to her behaviour on this particular occasion. She recognises alcohol has played a part wants to address this issue.”

A probation officer who interviewed Kinsella said she acknowledged her behaviour was totally unacceptable.

The officer said: “She is very aware that she needs to start addressing her alcohol misuse. She wants to go back into hairdressing.”

Gareth Price (defending Barnes) said she recognised the part alcohol played in the incident.

He said: “She is keen to engage with the probation service and see what help they can give.

“She wasn’t the person who perhaps instigated the violence, but she accepts she was involved. She doesn’t know the lady. She apologises for her behaviour.”

A second probation officer, who interviewed Barnes, said she didn’t remember much because of the amount of alcohol she had drunk.

He said: “She remembers drinking with Miss Kinsella at her house earlier and drinking lots of alcohol, but not much beyond that.”

The officer told the court Barnes would say the victim started the incident.

“In one sense, she doesn’t show that much remorse and described it as something you just do when you’re drunk.”