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Woman ‘ragged’ love rival along the ground by hair in ugly street attack

Woman 'ragged' love rival along the ground by hair in ugly street attack

A woman “ragged” her love rival up and down the street in a “prolonged and persistent” assault.

Liverpool Crown Court was shown shocking video footage of the incident which took place in the early hours of the morning in St Helens on January 15 this year.

Rebecca Chisnall, 23, of Newton Road, Parr in St Helens, appeared in court for sentencing after she pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The court heard the background to the case was long-standing animosity between her and the victim, mum-of-two Rebecca McGrath.

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Both women had been in a relationship with the same man, who had had two children with Miss McGrath. At the time of the assault he was with Chisnall, who falsely accused Miss McGrath of not allowing him to “see his kids.”

Chris Taylor, prosecuting, said the victim had been “out and about” in St Helens town centre on the night in question when the pair first clashed, which resulted in the victim being thrown out of a bar.

They next came together in the early hours of the following morning near a taxi rank, when Chisnall grabbed and dragged Miss McGrath to the floor. She then drags her across the ground by her hair and continues the assault when the victim tried to get to her feet.

Mr Taylor said: “She (Chisnall) carried on kicking and punching the victim despite being asked to stop. The incident lasted for five minutes and left the victim with a broken nose and two black eyes, along with facial bruising and swelling.”

The court was told Chisnall has two earlier convictions for assault, and was nine months into a previous community order when the latest offence took place.

In a victim personal statement, Miss McGrath said she suffered flashbacks to the incident and was on medication to help her deal with the trauma.

Michael Hegarty, defending, said Chisnall “appreciates the seriousness of the position she faces today.”

He added: “The background to this case is tortuous, but the defendant’s partner has also been in a relationship with the victim, and at the time he was the partner of the defendant. Subsequent to this he returned to the victim.”

Mr Hegarty said that Chisnall had had “a troubled life” and suffered mental health difficulties, and had also recently lost her grandmother. He added: “Alcohol played a part in this offence. Her dad continues to offer his support to his daughter and she’s resolute in trying to turn her life around.”

Judge Brian Cummings, QC, said: “The circumstances of the assault were caught on camera. Once the defendant gets started, it goes on and on and it’s very ugly.

“The physical injury is serious, as are the psychological consequences. The offence took place under the influence of alcohol, in a public street in the early hours of the morning. This forces me to the conclusion that only immediate imprisonment is appropriate. You simply cannot do what you are shown doing in the footage.”

He jailed Chisnall for 16 months, of which she will serve half before being released on licence.


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