Primary school mums in brawl

THREE mothers were arrested and another taken to hospital after a bust-up close to a religious school in Suffolk.

Simon Tomlinson

THREE mothers were arrested and another taken to hospital after a bust-up close to a religious school in Suffolk.

Witnesses described seeing the four women grappling on the ground as frightened children looked on near St Mary's Church of England Primary School in Hadleigh.

Two of the women were said to have been pushing their young children in buggies just before the drama unfolded.

The fracas was only broken up when an 18st man jumped in to help. Abi Pullen, whose two children go to the school, was taken to Ipswich Hospital with head injuries.

Police said she had been kicked and punched after being pushed to the floor outside the East End House community centre in George Street, around 300 yards away from the school.

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The other three women were arrested on suspicion of assault. A 24-year-old woman received a caution for assault and has taken responsibility for the incident, a spokeswoman for Suffolk police said.

A 26-year-old and a 37-year-old were released without any further action.

The spokeswoman said: “The three who were arrested have been given advice about their behaviour and warned against doing anything similar again.”

She said Miss Pullen had also been spoken to about the incident and was told to contact police if she needed further advice.

Last night, Miss Pullen, 26, spoke of the brawl, which happened at about 9am on Monday, just after she had dropped off her children - Harry, five and three-year-old Katie.

Miss Pullen, who lives with her partner Richard Suddaby in Pykenham Way, Hadleigh, said: “I remember being pulled to the floor and being kicked in the head.

“I could hear babies screaming in their buggies then everything went black. I wasn't far from being knocked out.”

Her friend Martin Bignall, who had accompanied her to the school, said it took all his strength to break up the fight.

The 29-year-old said: “It was absolutely shocking. Abi was screaming hysterically.

“She had big lumps on her head and blood coming from her nose and lips. There were about 15 people around at the time. One lady picked up her young boys and ran past.”

Mr Bignall called the police once the women had been dispersed, but Miss Pullen claims one of the women returned to the scene to retrieve her handbag.

It has been claimed the four women, three of whom have children at the school, have had disputes in the past, but nothing to this extent.

St Mary's Primary School has around 200 girls and boys aged four to 11, as well as a morning nursery for about 26 children.

The Church of England is responsible for the religious direction, through the school's governing body.

Its mission statement says it aims to achieve “high standards within a caring Christian ethos” by instilling a positive attitude towards other people and the community.

The school was unavailable for comment last night.