OAP attacked with dog lead in Burnley bar

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.
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A mum-of-one launched a dog lead attack on a pensioner in a bar, just weeks after being spared jail for knifing her ex-partner in the back as he lay face down sleeping off a hangover.

Emily Jane Whittaker (35) struck 66-year-old David Moss on the shoulder and then hit him over the head with the metal clasp end of the lead, causing a bleeding gash.

I’m going to punish you

Defendant

The victim told police he had been assaulted for nothing and bar staff agreed, but Whittaker alleged he had made inappropriate remarks to her and had been “extremely outrageous and flirtatious”, Burnley magistrates heard.

The hearing was told Whittaker, who was on an alcohol treatment programme, had gone out drinking the day after her father’s death, taking her puppy with her. She had got angry with the victim and told him: “I’m going to punish you,” before her “moment of madness” at Mojitos in the town, on April 15th.

The violence came less than two months after Whittaker was given a suspended sentence at Burnley Crown Court for walking into her ex-partner’s Burnley home wearing pink pyjamas, calmly going upstairs and stabbing him.

Whittaker had been heard by a friend of “completely defenceless” Francis Fleming to say to the victim: “I told you how serious I was being”, before she then walked straight out again, leaving Mr Fleming injured and bleeding profusely, that hearing had been told.

The crown court had heard how Whittaker, who was on medication for anxiety and depression, was said to have suffered domestic violence at the hands of Mr Fleming in the past.

She had admitting wounding Mr Fleming, last November 30th.

The defendant was given two years in prison, suspended for two years, with a 60-day rehabilitation activity requirement and a six-month alcohol treatment programme in February.

Unemployed Whittaker walked free from court again on Thursday, after admitting assaulting Mr Moss by beating him, although the suspended sentence may yet be activated at the higher court. The magistrates imposed an eight-week curfew, between 8pm and 8am. They ordered the defendant, of Fenwick Street, Burnley, to pay £100 compensation, £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge out of her benefits.

Andrew Robinson (prosecuting) told the justices, the victim, who regularly went to Mojitos in the afternoon, was sitting on a bar stool as he normally did and had had about four pints of beer. He was speaking to another person and a girl working behind the bar.

Mr Robinson said, at some point, the defendant came into the bar and got into a conversation which developed into an argument.

She thought the victim might have been speaking to the bar staff disrespectfully, but he wasn’t. Whittaker became angry with him and told him: “I’m going to punish you.” Bar staff told her she would be asked to leave. He continued: “She hit him to the shoulder and hit him on the head with a dog lead – I think she had a dog with her – and that caused a cut to the gentleman’s head.”

Mr Robinson added: “He can’t believe he was assaulted for nothing and the incident upset him. He didn’t want any trouble. The bar staff confirm it wasn’t his fault. He was minding his own business when he was assaulted.”

Deanne McGinty, in mitigation for Whittaker, told the court she had co-operated with police and entered a timely guilty plea. She said: “She’s very remorseful when I have taken instructions from her.”

Miss McGinty continued: “The suspended sentence puts her in a very precarious position. I think in the near future she may have the suspended sentence activated at the crown court.”

The solicitor said: “She tells me the victim in the case was making inappropriate remarks. He was being extremely outrageous and flirtatious and he was saying things she found extremely inappropriate.

The solicitor said Whittaker’s father had died the day before the incident and the funeral was the week before the hearing. Miss McGinty added: “Its been a very traumatic time. She went out drinking. She had not eaten for a couple of days.”

Sentencing, bench chairman Tony Winder said Whittaker used a weapon, caused a head injury and had recently been convicted of a violent offence. He told her: “We feel there was an element of provocation in what was said in the bar.”