Suffolk mum gets jail warning

AN Ipswich mother narrowly escaped sending her six children into care while she spent time in jail, a court has heard.Emma Lloyd, who attacked her neighbour, was warned by Judge David Goodin "You came very close to custody and it would have been nobody's fault but your own.

AN Ipswich mother narrowly escaped sending her six children into care while she spent time in jail, a court has heard.

Emma Lloyd, who attacked her neighbour, was warned by Judge David Goodin "You came very close to custody and it would have been nobody's fault but your own."

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Lloyd punched Yvette Whiting in the face and bent back her thumb, seriously injuring it, because Mrs Whiting had complained about the noise coming from Lloyd's house.

Judge Goodin said he felt like Lloyd was "holding a gun to the court's head" where sentencing was concerned because of her brood of children aged five weeks, one, two, six, eight and a stepdaughter of 15, who depended on her.

David Pickersgill, prosecuting, said Mr and Mrs Whiting had been at their home when Lloyd, 27, began banging at their window and door, shouting "Where is she, where is she?"

He said Mr Whiting answered the door but Lloyd managed to reach round him and punch his wife, giving her a bloody nose.

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Lloyd then grabbed Mrs Whiting's thumb and bent it backwards.

The court heard that Mrs Whiting has been receiving physiotherapy treatment on her thumb and is unable to use it properly which hinders her job as a nurse.

During the attack Lloyd broke the Whitings' outside light and she later threw a brick at their patio door.

Lloyd, of Cowslip Close, pleaded guilty to common assault and causing criminal damage.

Cherie Purnall, mitigating, said Mrs Whiting, who works nights, had complained about the noise coming from Lloyd's house but Lloyd had said she would do her best to keep the children quiet.

However, when the situation continued Mrs Whiting contacted the council and Lloyd was taken to court.

"She was alarmed to be told that she was not doing her best to keep the noise down," said Mrs Purnall.

"She unfortunately went round and there was an unpleasant confrontation," she added.

Mrs Purnall said Lloyd had been attacked by the Whitings during the scuffle.

Judge Goodin ordered Lloyd to pay Mrs Whiting £250 compensation and conditionally discharged her for two years.

He said if Lloyd, who has a previous criminal record, committed another offence in the next two years, she could be re-sentenced for these offences "and it may be custody".

He added: "Next time you feel cross, think of your children first."