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Gainsborough women jailed over 'nasty' street attack

Lincoln Crown Court
Lincoln Crown Court

Two women have been jailed for carrying out a night-time attack in Gainsborough.

Victim Caroline Hitchens was walking along Ashcroft Road when she was approached by Stephanie McLaggan and Gillian Connelly.

Leanne Summers, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court: “Caroline Hitchens was walking along Ashcroft Road and had got to the end of Waterworks Street when she saw the defendants coming out of a house on that street. They invited her in and said they wanted to talk with her.

“Then Stephanie McLaggan grabbed Caroline Hitchens’ hair and started punching her in the face. The victim tried to get away but ended up on the floor.

“While on the floor Stephanie McLaggan kneed her in the face and tried to gouge her eyes out shouting that she was going to stab her.

“Then Gillian Connelly pinned her to the floor and Stephanie McLaggan kicked her in the face.

“McLaggan then went into a house and returned with an ashtray and used it to hit Caroline Hitchens in her face.”

The two attackers walked off after McLaggan told the victim: “I know where you live”.

Ms Hitchens dialed 999 and later received treatment for injuries including two black eyes and cuts and bruises. The court was told that she had been affected both physically and emotionally by the incident

Stephanie McLaggan, 31, and Gillian Connelly, 38, both of Pilham Court, Gainsborough, each admitted a charge of affray between June 11 and 14, 2017. McLaggan also admitted possession of an offensive weapon.

McLaggan was jailed for 15 months and Connelly was jailed for 12 months.

Judge John Pini QC told them: “This was a very nasty incident indeed. It left your victim affected afterwards both physically and emotionally which is hardly surprising given that she was set about by you two.”

Gareth Gimson, for McLaggan, said that there were gaps in her past record of offending which showed she is capable of staying out of trouble.

He said she had a drugs problem but had been clean since being remanded into custody and hoped to remain that way.

Almas Ben-Aribia, for Connelly, urged the judge to take into account the fact that she had spent a number of months in custody awaiting the court hearing.