Woman spared jail for assault after proving she’d turned her life around

Crime and court news.
Crime and court news.

A woman who carried out an unprovoked attack on another woman has been spared jail after convincing magistrates she was turning her life around.

Ivana Childe-Freeman, 23, of New Cross Road, Stamford, was told to prove she was on the right path when she appeared at Grantham Magistrates’ Court on Monday (January 4).

Childe-Freeman admitted attacking another woman on her own driveway in Little Casterton Road, Stamford, on May 13 last year. She also admitted possessing the class B drug methylmethcathinone, known as M-Cat.

The court heard the defendant and her partner at the time were walking along the road and arguing when the victim, who was minding her own business, spotted them. Tracey Ross, prosecuting, said the couple were walking towards the victim and shouting. The man saw the victim and asked her what she was looking at.

“The victim replied ‘excuse me’. That’s when the defendant ran towards her,” said Miss Ross.

“The victim ran back to her front door but didn’t manage to get there, and was taken to the ground. She described the defendant as being in a rage.

“She was kicked several times and punched in the head several times, and had her hair pulled.”

The court heard Childe-Freeman went home, where her family became concerned about her behaviour.

“She appeared to be under the influence of drugs,” said Miss Ross. The police were called and found a small bag of white powder in the defendant’s pocket.

In mitigation, Julian Sheen said the defendant believed her drink may have been spiked on the day of the attack, and it had taken her some time to come round to the acceptance that her behaviour was wrong. But she had come to court with a letter to the victim in which she said she wanted to apologise.

“She sincerely regrets it and any harm she brought on the victim,” said Mr Sheen. “She can’t take back the distress she has caused but she assures her this kind of behaviour is well in her past.”

Mr Sheen said there had been a “considerable” change in Childe-Freeman’s behaviour in the past six months. She had previously had issues with drugs and alcohol but was now on an apprenticeship scheme and her employer had been so impressed by her application that she was prepared to speak in court on her behalf.

“I would urge you not to impose a custodial sentence,” said Mr Sheen.

Magistrates invited the defendant’s employer to speak, who said: “I didn’t know whether she would cope, because it was so completely different to the world she was used to.

“But she has been absolutely incredible.”

Childe-Freeman admitted one count of assault by beating and one count of possessing a controlled class B drug. She was given an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to take part in a thinking skills programme. She was ordered to pay compensation of £250, costs of £170 and a victim surcharge of £80.

Chief magistrate Susan Painter said: “We are taking you at face value. We have heard from your employer that you are genuinely trying to turn your life around. This will be the opportunity to prove that you mean it.”