TWO teenage girls have been locked up for a sickening attack on a pregnant 17-year-old they punched and kicked to the ground - repeatedly striking her stomach.
Charley Battle and Chelsea Birch, both 18, were sentenced to four months in a Young Offenders’ Institute for the assault, which left their victim fearing for the life of her unborn child.
Emerald Gibson, who was 14 weeks pregnant, was verbally abused and taunted on a bus by the pair as she travelled home from Sheffield city centre with her mum and a pal.
Battle, of Winn Gardens, Middlewood, and Birch, of Fitzhubert Road, Manor, taunted her when she ignored them after Battle shouted her name after recognising her from school.
Sheffield Crown Court heard Battle became ‘more abusive and threatening’ towards Emerald during the journey and together with Birch walked over to where she was sitting to abuse her more.
Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, said they shouted ‘offensive names’ and Battle warned Emerald she was going to ‘batter’ her.
Battle sat on the seat next to Emerald ‘to intimidate her and elbow her’. She called her ’pathetic’ and said her ‘baby ought to die’.
They followed Emerald off the bus and Battle punched her in the face three times, knocking her to the ground.
Mr Gallagher added: “Birch grabbed Emerald by the hair and both defendants then punched and kicked the victim repeatedly to the stomach while she lay on the ground.”
Emerald was taken to hospital with pain around her stomach, but her baby survived and was eventually delivered safely.
Battle and Chelsea both pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actually bodily harm.
Chris Aspinall, defending Battle, said her actions had been ‘despicable’ and said she ‘regretted very much’ what happened.
Richard Barradell, for Birch, described the attack as ‘very mean’ and ‘very unpleasant’ and said she realises her behaviour was ‘wreckless’.
Judge Robert Moore QC said the welfare of the unborn baby and mum were put at risk and only custody could be justified.