Shocking | 

Thug mum who punched and spat in face of 12-year-old schoolgirl avoids jail

Lynne McCrudden (43) punched the child in the face through the passenger window before returning and spitting on her

Lynne McCrudden

Paul Higgins

A woman has narrowly avoided jail for punching and spitting on a 12-year-old girl.

Lynne McCrudden was given a five-month suspended sentence and warned she would be jailed if she did not behave herself.

Judge Roseanne McCormick said: “If she is back before any court, as surely as night follows day, she can expect that court to activate this sentence.”

McCrudden, from Drumard Drive in Coleraine, was convicted of common assault over the incident earlier this year and sentenced to five months in jail, only to be freed on bail pending an appeal of that sentence.

The prosecution told Antrim County Appeal Court on Thursday that the 43-year-old was accepting her guilt for punching the schoolgirl, who was left traumatised after the attack.

The victim and her mother were driving along a road in their car when McCrudden, who was in the vehicle behind them, started “flashing her lights and beeping the horn”.

The schoolgirl’s mum pulled over to allow the defendant to pass, but instead of driving on, she pulled over in front of them, walked to the open passenger window and punched the girl in the face.

She then started to walk away from the car but had a change of heart, returned to the vehicle and spat in her victim’s face.

A defence lawyer said McCrudden now accepted her guilt over the incident and was sorry for what she had done.

The court was told that apology was backed up by a letter the attacker wrote to her victim and her mother.

The defence solicitor accepted the matter was a shocking case that crossed the threshold for a prison sentence.

But they also told the court that McCrudden has a child at home whose life would be devastated if she were given a custodial term.

Accepting the defendant was sorry, the judge nonetheless noted a factor in the case was that she had spat on the girl following the Covid pandemic.

She was satisfied that the original sentence of five months in prison was “entirely appropriate”, but added she was taking into account that McCrudden had a child at home.

Turning to the letter of apology, the judge said while the girl and her mum “may not want it delivered to them”, it should be sent.

“There are adult disagreements, but there are ways of dealing with them, and assaulting a child is never to be tolerated,” she told the court.

As well as the suspended prison sentence, McCrudden was told to pay her victim £500 compensation.

The judge said that if she did not produce the money, she would be trouble.

She added: “Summer is coming, and the victim is entitled to a better start of summer than the defendant gave her last year.”

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