A 49-YEAR-OLD woman grabbed fistfuls of her neighbour’s hair and then pulled out a kitchen knife on a police officer who came to arrest her, a court had heard,
Lorraine Bissett, of Tenterden Close, appeared before the town’s magistrates on Tuesday morning (May 3) after admitting the offences at an earlier hearing.
Prosecutor Liz Green told the court Bissett had assaulted her neighbour Valerie Fox after the pair had words over Bissett failing to clear up her dog’s mess.
The court heard Bissett had sent threats to Ms Fox via her young daughter on March 24. The young girl told her mother about the abuse and then when Ms Fox left the house at around 7pm that evening, on her way out to have dinner with her elder daughter, Bissett assaulted her in the street.
Bissett grabbed Ms Fox by the hair, pulled her to the floor and then started kicking her while she was on the ground.
Neighbours started to come out of their homes, because they could hear Bissett shouting at her victim while she was assaulting her.
The defendant was swearing during the attack and was heard to say ‘I’m going to kill you’.
Neighbours said Bissett also lashed out at onlookers who attempted to intervene. Eye-witnesses described Bissett as ‘a woman possessed’ who was ‘grabbing fistfuls of hair’.
The court heard Ms Fox ‘ached all over’ after the assault and went to Eastbourne DGH for a check-up.
When police arrived at the scene, Bissett had returned to her home.
She opened the door to the officers but did not speak to them and walked back inside her home. The officer followed her inside where she produced a kitchen knife.
The police officer said he feared for his safety and had to use captor spray to restrain a struggling Bissett who refused to put down the knife.
The court heard Bissett admitted the assault to the police and said, “Yes, I did it and I enjoyed it.”
Helen Wallace, defending, said Bissett had suffered from mental health problems for many years and described the knife incident as ‘reckless’.
Ms Wallace said Bissett had pulled out the knife with the intention of self harming but now accepted it would have been ‘extremely frightening’ for the officer.
Magistrates were also told Bissett had been alcohol-free for around 10 years but had some whiskey of the day of the offence.
Ms Wallace added, “To her credit, she has contacted the housing association and asked for an emergency move to try and prevent any further problems.” Ms Wallace also said Bissett was remorseful.
Magistrates told Bissett she was lucky not to be facing more serious charges when they sentenced her to a six-month community order with a supervision requirement.
Bissett was also ordered to pay £50 in compensation to Ms Fox and £20 towards the court costs.
Magistrates also imposed a two-year restraining order preventing Bissett from contacting Ms Fox or her two daughters and entering a marked area around the family home.