A YOUNG woman who attacked a friend who she thought had hit her young son, punching and kicking her and pulling out her hair, has been given a community sentence.
Sarah Cooke, 20, of Willow Way, Chelmsley Wood, had pleaded guilty to assaulting victim Charlotte Simpson during the incident in October last year.
She had entered her plea on the basis that she 'saw red' when Charlotte had admitted slapping her young son and had laughed - but that was rejected by Solihull magistrates after hearing evidence during a 'trial of issue.
Cooke was committed to Warwick Crown Court where on Thursday she was given a community order with 12 months supervision.
Prosecutor Sarah Hammond said that in October last year Charlotte, who was 17 at the time, was living at Cooke's flat.
When Cooke was out one evening Charlotte was at the flat with some friends and was playing music too loud, which had led to the neighbours calling the police. As a result Charlotte decided to stay elsewhere, and the next day Cooke went to see her about what had happened.
There was a conversation which developed into an argument over Cooke's belief that Charlotte had slapped her young son.
Cooke followed Charlotte into a bedroom, took hold of her by her hair and pulled her head to the ground and kicked here to the head and punched her.
Charlotte managed to get to her feet and was told to put her shoes on, which she did.
Cooke left, and Charlotte could hear her laughing with some people outside and thought her ordeal was over.
But Cooke returned, grabbed her by the hair again, pulled her to the floor and kicked her to the face, chest and stomach, then picked her up and banged her head against the wall.
After grabbing Charlotte by the throat and digging her nails into her neck, Cooke dragged her outside where she was forced to apologise to a crowd of about seven people.
Charlotte was then dragged back inside, but when she called for help one of the crowd helped her to break free and she ran to her parents' home.
As a result of the attack Charlotte had soreness to her face, particularly around her jaw, bleeding from the ear and a patch of hair was missing.
Ian Speed, defending, said Cooke, who had no previous convictions, has now moved from the area and is living in a refuge.
Judge Trevor Faber told Cooke: "You were told she had assaulted your child. I am not assuming for one moment that that was true, but what is in your favour is that you undoubtedly believed it was true.
"That is no excuse for what you did, but it is some explanation for your behaviour.
"You indulged in a long and serious assault. You used your fists and your feet, and you pulled some of her hair out. Fortunately you did not cause any serious injury.