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Antrim woman who slapped and spat on pregnant victim avoids jail

Lauren Zara Sproule

Paul HigginsSunday Life

This is the Antrim woman who got into a fight with a mum-to-be “over kids fighting”.

A court in the town was told last week that Lauren Zara Sproule initially called police to report that she had been assaulted on March 21, 2021.

The 30-year-old said she had been slapped, spat on and had her hair pulled.

But while police were taking a statement, “a counter-allegation was made” by Sproule’s pregnant victim, who told officers there had been a “verbal argument over children fighting”.

She reported that after she asked Sproule to leave, the defendant “spat on her”, so with “Covid ongoing and the injured party being pregnant... she hit the defendant to stop her spitting again”.

“The fight was broken up by the defendant’s father,” said a lawyer, adding that the victim sustained a cut to her left eye.

While Sproule, from Devon Court in the town, claimed during police questioning that she had acted in self-defence, she was convicted of common assault after a brief contest.

The defence confirmed there had been no further incidents since the fight and that Sproule had moved house.

The barrister said the defendant was now three months pregnant with her fifth child.

“She has always maintained that she was unaware the injured party was pregnant. She was acting to protect her young daughter,” they added.

Sproule was fined £150 and ordered to pay the same figure in compensation.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said the fact her victim was pregnant was “an aggravating factor”.

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