A NEW mum has received a shock jail sentence after she bit her pal on the neck during a taxi ride home from a Rhianna concert.
Natalie Clark, who gave birth just nine weeks ago, was left stunned as she was led from the dock after receiving the 12-month jail term.
Clark and Lorraine Conlan were part of a group which had won tickets to the gig at the Metro Radio Arena. However, as they travelled back to Sunderland, the pair, who both worked for 2Touch in Doxford Park, got into an argument leading to Clark, sinking her teeth into her friend’s neck.
Clark, who also worked as a Red Cross volunteer, had denied assault causing bodily harm during a trial.
But the 29-year-old of Hewitt Avenue, Hollycarrside, was found guilty by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court and sentenced to 12 months in prison.
Today, Miss Conlan, 24, spoke of her surprise at the severity of the sentence handed down to Clark.
She said: “To be honest I’m quite shocked at the verdict.
“It was a build up of things and it just came to a head that night. I tried to avoid going, because of the bad feeling – not on my part, but on her part.
“I was left with a bite mark and a slight black eye.”
Newcastle Crown Court heard the pair, who had a history of bad feeling and a mutual ex-boyfriend, ended up in the same taxi back to Sunderland after the performance.
Clark was described in court as an “extremely caring person” who puts herself out to help other people.
Her barrister Glen Gatland told the court: “It is obvious she is a caring, loving mother who goes out on occasions and her release is to drink too much alcohol.”
But Judge Roger Thorn said a prison term could not be avoided and jailed Clark for 12 months.
She appeared stunned and could be heard sobbing as she was led to the cells to start her sentence.
The judge said Clark had used every excuse from self defence to accusing those giving evidence her of lying at the trial.
The judge said it was the most “unattractive state of affairs” though he accepted there was another side to Clark’s personality and that she was an otherwise caring mother.
But the judge told her: “You have now expressed the victim sympathy and empathy, there was no evidence of that at the trial.
“What I have before me is someone who acted in a drunken, aggressive way, utterly despicably, using your teeth as a weapon.
“I recognise you have young children, including one born in recent weeks, some time after your arrest for this matter, but that, in my judgement, cannot prevent me from exercising my public duty and recognising the harm you have done to your victim.”
Miss Conlan, of Castletown, today said she was anxious to put the matter behind her.
She added: “I just think, to be honest, I’m glad it’s over, because it was going on for a long time.
“I would not wish this on anyone, but you can’t get away with doing that to people.”