A mother-of-two has been spared jail after hitting her cheating boyfriend’s lover over the head with a picture frame while he hid in a wardrobe after a judge said she suffered ’emotional abuse’ over his infidelity.
Care worker Rachel Parkinson, 33, struck Jacqueline Hunter with the glass piece of furniture after going into the woman’s home to find the father of her children Scott Brown hiding in a wardrobe.
Ms Hunter, a shop assistant, suffered severe injuries in the attack in Wigan, Greater Manchester and has been left with a scar to her right hand caused when she defended herself against the blows.
Mr Brown later filed a letter to a court apologising for his conduct, adding: ‘In my own opinion Rachel is the victim of my selfish behaviour and I certainly contributed to all this mess by not thinking about either Rachel or Jacqueline. I do not believe Rachel even intended to hurt Jacqueline.’
Care worker Rachel Parkinson, pictured above with the father of her children Scott Brown, was spared jail after attacking her cheating boyfriend’s lover with a picture frame
At Bolton Crown Court, Parkinson, from Wigan, was originally charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm but prosecutors accepted her plea to the lesser charge of causing grievous bodily harm.
She was sentenced to 12 months, suspended for two years, and was told to complete 100 hours unpaid work. She was also banned from contacting Ms Hunter for five years under the terms of a restraining order.
Parkinson and and Mr Brown are thought to have rekindled their relationship following the assault but it is not clear as to whether they are still together.
Sentencing Judge Timothy Stead said Mr Brown’s confession was ‘not before time’ and said of Parkinson: ‘I’m not dealing with a hard nose offender who has taken it into her head to assault somebody.
‘This had been an extraordinarily highly charged situation in which she had behaved criminally but I have understanding for it. She doesn’t pose a danger to the public.’
He told Parkinson: ‘You went to someone else’s house, it was not locked and you shouldn’t have entered but you went in and you were clearly intent on a confrontation with Scott Brown.
‘He doesn’t seem to have been courageous or gallant in these circumstances – in fact he hid himself in a wardrobe throughout all this.
‘All that was available to you was Jacqueline Hunter although she was an innocent party in all this. You lost your self control and hit her with a picture frame which came to hand. It is unfortunate rather than by design that the picture frame was glass and sharp at the edge.
Jacqueline Hunter, above, suffered severe injuries in the attack in Wigan and has been left with a scar to her right hand
‘You attacked Ms Hunter, hitting her repeatedly but most tellingly having broken the frame you hit her and caused a nasty wound to her hand which required considerable surgical repair, it has been very difficult for her and will taken a long time if at all for her to recover from that. Undoubtedly she will be left with a scar.
‘I’m not sending you to prison but I don’t mind telling you when I came into the courtroom I was very in mind to do that.
‘Using a weapon with sharp edges inside somebody else’s house to attack them when they themselves has have done nothing wrong and caused a serious wound which required surgery is a serious matter.’
He added: ‘But while I don’t say it is justification, there is understanding to what you did.
‘You had been having a trying time, I know that – but none of this is the fault of Jacqueline Hunter as I see it and she most certainly did not deserve what you did to her.
‘But you had been put under very considerable emotional pressure – not just for one a single day or a week. Mr Brown’s conduct as I see it and which he acknowledges in part himself was in its way emotionally abusive towards you.
‘I think you suffered a degree of emotional abuse concerning the way he conducted in himself in his relationship with you. It’s because of that which brings understanding to your criminal behaviour and I can take an exceptional course. You don’t present any risk or danger to the public.
‘There is strong personal mitigation and immediate custody would have a significant harmful impact on young members of your family. I would like to think we won’t see you again. I don’t think you’re a bad person at all.’
The incident came at 9am on June 7 last year – three weeks after Ms Hunter began a relationship with Mr Brown in the mistaken belief he had split up with Parkinson.
But Parkinson learned Mr Brown and Ms Hunter may have been together and went round to the victim’s home in an attempt to find him when he failed to answer his mobile phone.
She initially banged on the front door and called his name but found the house unlocked and went inside, before finding the pair in an upstairs bedroom.
She tried to access the wardrobe where Mr Brown was hiding but was unable to open the door and instead picked up the picture frame from a window ledge and smashed it against the back of Ms Hunter’s head.
Ms Hunter stepped back but Parkinson moved towards her with a broken piece of the frame and used it to strike her on the hand as she tried to cover her face.
At Bolton Crown Court, above, Parkinson was charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm but prosecutors accepted her plea to a lesser charge (file photo)
She had surgery to correct the damage to her hand but still experiences numbness and had four months away from work. She still suffers bouts of anxiety.
Prosecutor Philip Hall said: ‘Although it was two blows I don’t submit it was a sustained or repeated assault but I do submit the the injury to her hand was serious. It’s had an ongoing effect on the victim and this was the use of a picture frame as a weapon.’
In mitigation, defence counsel Paul Treble said: ‘This is a case where the court can properly suspend any custodial sentence. She accepts responsibility for what she did but I pray in aid the emotional state she was in at the time in her quest to find Mr Brown.
‘She is a lady who is very committed to her children a lady who appears to be a great supporter of other people and is highly regarded. People are surprised she acted in the manner she did.
‘The reason was the emotional situation she found herself in after four years. She had been driven to that point, she lost control and acted in the manner she did. I stress she did not intend to cause injury – it was an emotional response to the circumstances that all parties found themselves in.
‘When Mr Brown says he is responsible not just for the defendant but also the complainant, that’s right. We know Ms Hunter was equally emotionally abused by Mr Brown.’