A MAN punched a pregnant woman and her mum when violence flared at a bingo hall in Sunderland city centre following a feud between two families.
Stephen Alderson was enjoying a night out with his partner at Mecca Bingo, in Holmeside, in August last year.
Paula Wade says to him ‘Get off my mother’ and he punches her. She is six months pregnant at the time.Prosecutor Paul Anderson
The 44-year-old ran into Maria Wade and her daughter Paula at the venue and both sides began arguing because of a disagreement stretching back years.
As tempers escalated, oil rig worker Alderson assaulted both Maria and Paula, who was six months pregnant at the time, by punching them.
Prosecutor Paul Anderson told a hearing at the city’s magistrates’ court: “These offences go back to August 16 at the Mecca Bingo in Holmeside.
“There was an ongoing dispute between the Wade family and the defendant’s partner.
“It goes further than that because he goes over and points his finger into Maria Wade’s face.
“He then punches her in the face three or four times.
“Paula Wade says to him ‘get off my mother’ and he punches her. She is six months pregnant at the time. As far as Maria Wade is concerned she suffered a swollen bottom and top lip and a sore left cheek.
“Paula Wade suffers soreness and had her hair pulled.”
Mr Anderson added: “Both victims made personal statements.
“Maria Wade says she feared for the safety of her and her family.
“She said ‘I think he is a coward and a bully’.
“Paula Wade makes a brief victim statement saying: ‘I was pregnant and trying to enjoy a good night out with my mam. My unborn child has not been hurt but it could have been if I had fallen. I was shaken and upset and I want this person to stay away from me and my family’.” After being arrested by police, Alderson initially denied the offences in interview, but later pleaded guilty to two charges of assault by beating.
Anna Haq, mitigating, told JPs that Alderson’s work takes him to places such as Holland and Alaska, meaning he is away from home for long periods of time.
She said: “This is one of those cases where there is always two sides to every story.
“He states to me that there is a long history between himself and the Wade family.
“It goes back to when Mr Alderson’s father was assaulted by one of the Wade family’s sons.
“Unfortunately, Mr Alderson’s father is now deceased.
“Mr Alderson states he has gone along to the bingo not knowing that the Wade family would be present.
“He walked past a table to go to the toilet.
“They have seen him walk past. When he has come back they have been shouting and been abusive.
“He’s approached them, which he now realises he shouldn’t have, and there has been an altercation.
“He stresses that he was not aware that Paula Wade was pregnant at the time and could not tell that she was pregnant.”
Chairman of the bench Steven Burdess told Alderson, of Benfleet Avenue, Town End Farm: “We have considered this matter very carefully.
“Ordinarily, we would be looking for a report from probation. However, given your circumstances we are going to fine you.”
Alderson was fined £3,280 and also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120, costs of £85 and compensation of £200 each to Maria and Paula Wade.
Alderson was also slapped with a restraining order preventing him from contacting either Maria or Paula Wade.