A CAR-park thug launched a vicious assault on a pregnant woman because she called her a “chav”.
Victim Tina Cooper was reversing her car when she had to slam on her brakes to avoid Samantha Jane Hall, a court heard.
But Mrs Cooper was left stunned when Hall, of Chaplin Street, in Seaham, struck her through her open car window and thumped her twice in the face, magistrates were told.
Hall walked free from court with just a £35 fine.
Mrs Cooper, 29, a nurse who was five months pregnant and with her mother at the time, was left needing treatment after the incident.
Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard Hall subjected Mrs Cooper to abuse after Hall walked out between two parked vehicles, at the Anchor Retail Park, Hartlepool Marina, causing Mrs Cooper to brake and sound the horn in her Nissan Qashqai.
Prosecuting, Lilian Atkinson said Mrs Cooper could hear Hall being abusive through the partially-open window.
She added: “She turned and spoke to her mother and during that short period the defendant approached the driver door and punched the complainant twice in the face through the open window, causing her slight reddening.
“The complainant got out of the car and the defendant went over.
“The victim said ‘what did you do that for? I’m five months pregnant’.”
The court heard that Hall subjected Mrs Cooper to a further tirade of abuse, threatening to “knock her out” and she was joined by a male, who was also aggressive.
The court heard Hall was “waving her arms around” and Mrs Cooper’s mother also got out of the car as she feared for the safety of her pregnant daughter.
Staff from nearby shops intervened before Hall drove off.
Hall was later arrested. In police interview, she said Mrs Cooper had revved her engine at her and she admitted muttering a swear word under her breath.
“She said the female shouted out of the window ‘get out of the road, you chav!’ and she went on to say to the female ‘who are you talking to?’,” added Mrs Atkinson.
But she told police she couldn’t recall making any contact with the victim.
Hall, a mother-of-two, admitted assault by beating on November 9 last year, when she appeared before magistrates.
Ian Hudson, mitigating, said Hall was in the car park “minding her own business” when the incident happened.
He claimed there was one punch, not two, and added that there “must have been a catalyst for her to hit somebody” as she had been out of trouble for more than 10 years.
Hall herself told the court: “I don’t know what came over me. I think it was the name-calling.
“I have lost seven babies in the last two-and-a-half years.
“Being a mother myself, I backed off as soon as I realised she was expecting.”
Hall was given a £35 fine and was also ordered to pay £50 compensation to Mrs Cooper and pay £85 costs.
There was no action brought against the man in the incident.