Women jailed for ‘deplorable’ attack on man during a party at his Sheffield home
Two women have been jailed for 12 months each for inflicting grievous bodily harm on a man they met in a pub, after he invited them back to his Sheffield home for a party.
Defendants, Victoria Middleton and Alisha Bowie, met the complainant on the evening of October 21, 2017, after striking up a conversation in the smoking area of the Queens pub in High Street, Mosborough.
He invited them back to his flat for a party, along with three friends who had been drinking with him at the pub, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor, Megan Rhys, said the man got into a taxi with Middleton, 24, and Bowie, 25, and bought a bottle of WKD for himself from a late night garage on the way back to his flat.
“One of the defendants commented on the fact he had only bought one bottle and asked him if he was going to buy any more. He told them he didn’t have any money,” said Ms Rhys.
After arriving back at his flat, the complainant said he and his friends were sat drinking in his living room when Bowie began ‘kicking off’.
Ms Rhys said: “She slapped him across his face, calling him fat and ugly. He asked her why she had slapped him and told her to calm down. Ms Middleton told him not to speak to her friend like that and they both began attacking him, punching him to his head, face and shoulders.
“He had his hands up to try and protect himself and closed his eyes, and one of the two defendants bit him on his arm. He also felt someone bite him on his nose. He was trying to get up and heard one of the defendants say: ‘There must be some knives around here’.”
The man tried to take refuge in his bedroom but the defendants followed him in there, and began punching him to the back of his head, before pushing him on to his bed, which caused it to break.
“He thought they had left, but one of the defendants returned, telling him to give her his mobile phone and pin code,” said Ms Rhys, adding that she left after he complied.
The complainant later discovered his glasses had been stolen, that his television, worth £800, had been smashed and found holes in his living room wall, which cost £1,000 to repair.
A witness, who travelled in the taxi with the complainant and the defendants, said Bowie and Middleton ‘appeared to become angry’ after he only bought one bottle of WKD.
She said they both called him names in the taxi, but he did not respond.
“When they arrived back at the flat she said the defendants began ‘slapping him all of a sudden’. She tried to get in between them and they backed off. To use her words they were ‘wild’.
“They continued to shout things at him, and both defendants went back to the complainant and started punching him. She and others tried to intervene, resulting in his television being pushed over,” said Ms Rhys.
The man, who was 35-years-old at the time of the incident, was left with an undisplaced fracture to his cheek bone, bite marks to his nose and arm and bruising to his neck and chest.
Bowie and Middleton were arrested after the complainant identified them from Facebook.
When arrested, both women accepted hitting the complainant – but said they were provoked into violence after he made an inappropriate sexual comment to Bowie.
Both women denied biting the complainant, and said they only realised they were in possession of his phone and glasses after going on to another party.
Middleton, of Hunters Lane, Richmond and Bowie, of Weakland Crescent, Hackenthorpe, both pleaded guilty to charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm and theft at an earlier hearing.
Mitigating for Bowie, Lucy Hogarth, said her client had become pregnant since the incident, and is due to give birth next month.
“She has accepted she was involved in the incident and that she caused some harm.
“She has demonstrated a willingness to plead guilty,” said Ms Hogarth, before asking the Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, whether it would be possible for him to impose a suspended sentence, after taking Bowie’s mitigation and pregnancy into consideration.
Rebecca Tanner, defending Middleton, said: “This was entirely out of character, the kind of behaviour that had not taken place before and has not been repeated.”
She added: “She describes feeling awful when she was told about the injuries that she has played her part in causing...she is involved in a job that benefits others..as a support worker for vulnerable adults.”
Judge Richardson said there was ‘potent mitigation’ for both defendants, but concluded that the violence used by both women was so serious that he would be failing in his ‘public responsibility’ if he did anything other than impose immediate custodial sentences.
He jailed both women for a year.
“At some stage he [the complainant] made some sort of inappropriate remark or comment. You both grossly overreacted. You were entitled to be incensed, you could each have left forthwith. Instead, you behaved deplorably. Moreover, your violence was persistent, and you also stole items of his property,” said Judge Richardson.
- South Yorkshire Police have been asked to provide custody images of both defendants