Sympathetic magistrates chose to impose a conditional discharge on a struggling carer who ended-up assaulting her poorly mother during a tussle for a mobile phone.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on August 1 how Paige Louise Miles, 24, of Milton Avenue, Alfreton, had tried to retrieve a mobile phone from her mother to stop her making a call to police and she was struck in the face.
Prosecuting solicitor Marianne Connolly said: “Police were called because an argument commenced between them and they were living at the same address.”
Mrs Connolly added: “During the course of the argument Miss Miles accepted that it continued and she tried to retrieve a mobile to stop her mother making a call and this resulted in a reckless blow to her face.”
Miss Miles admitted the assault to police but her mother indicated she did not want to make a formal complaint however the matter was pursued because the police had been called and because the incident had been in a domestic context.
The defendant pleaded guilty to assault after the incident on February 12.
Defence solicitor Peter Jones urged magistrates to be lenient because he claimed the matter might have been dealt with by a caution if it had not been in a domestic context.
He added that the defendant’s relationship with her mother is close one but it is difficult because of her mother’s alcohol dependency.
Mr Jones said: “Her mother wanted her to secure alcohol and Paige is her mother’s full-time carer and Paige took the view it was not the responsible thing to do.
“And her mother went off on one and picked up the phone threatening to call police and Paige accepts tempers were raised and she tried to take her phone off her and released her grip and her hand went back to her face and there was a blow.”
Mr Jones added that Paige’s mother, who has multiple sclerosis, also suffers with ulcerations to her legs relating to previous drug abuse and she needs blood-thining agents and bruises easily.
He said: “At first sight, we are dealing with a potential, vulnerable victim but there are particular circumstances and the assault was not intentional and it was a reckless action caused by a tussle for the mobile phone.”
Magistrates expressed disappointment that the case had made its way to court.
They sentenced Miles to a six-month conditional discharge but if she commits another offence in the next half-a-year she can be brought back and re-sentenced for the assault and any new matter.
Miles was also ordered to pay a £21 victim surcharge.