Ipswich woman given 'one last chance' after assaulting stranger

Graham Goodchild of Bradfield Avenue, Hadleigh pleaded guilty to arson at a property in Peppercorn Way, Ipswich

Natasha Hammond was given a community order at Ipswich Crown Court. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

An Ipswich woman who held a woman in a headlock and punched her in the face was “in a state of undress” when she was arrested, a court has heard.

Sentencing Natasha Hammond to a community order Recorder Gabrielle Posner said she deserved to go to prison for what she did but agreed to give her “ one last chance”.

“This was an appalling incident. You attacked a complete stranger,” said the judge.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that on May 6 the victim saw Hammond arguing with a man in the street and crossed the road to avoid them.

Hammond had shouted: ”What are you looking at?” before grabbing the woman in a headlock and punching her in the face.

A member of the public intervened and took the victim of the attack to a nearby petrol station and called the police.

During the incident Hammond had damaged the victim’s phone and glasses, the court heard.

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When police officers arrived they found Hammond in a state of undress and after her arrest she had spat at a policewoman.

Hammond, 39, of Stoke Park Drive, Ipswich, admitted assault by beating, two offences of criminal damage, assaulting an emergency worker by beating, threatening behaviour and breach of a suspended sentence

In addition to a two year community order Hammond was given a 30 day rehabilitation order and a four month curfew.

The court heard that in May last year Hammond was given a 19 week prison sentence suspended for 12 months for an offence of dangerous driving.

On that occasion she had gone to Martlesham police headquarters in the early hours of the morning and was playing her stereo at high volume.

She raised some concerns with the police about a family problem but was advised to go home.

After she left officers noticed she had left a pile of clothes by the main doors and drove after Hammond and tried to stop her.

Hammond slowed down and the police car overtook her but Hammond had then driven round the police car and along Main Road, Kesgrave, at speeds of up to 78mph.

She had also driven the wrong way round a roundabout before driving to Ipswich Hospital where she was arrested.

The court heard that Hammond, who has a history of mental health issues and has been in custody since May, regretted her behaviour on May 6.

Pina Sylvio for Hammond said her client was almost undressed when police arrived and had very little recollection of the incident.