Wheelchair-bound meningitis victim punched, kicked and stamped on woman’s face and head in vicious street attack

Tracey Carroll also known as Stoddard.
Tracey Carroll also known as Stoddard.

A wheelchair-bound meningitis victim has admitted punching, kicking and stamping on a woman’s face and head in a vicious street attack outside a pub.

Tracey Carroll, also known as Stoddard, who contracted the brain bug along with septicaemia on Christmas Day last year, attacked the woman months earlier, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Tracey Carroll also known as Stoddard.

Tracey Carroll also known as Stoddard.

The 36-year-old, who is now unable to walk due to having nine toes amputated, followed her victim out of then White Lion in Houghton last September and punched her to the ground and continued her attack, the bench was told.

As she lay defenceless on the road, Carroll, of Queensway, Houghton, continued to stamp on her and has now pleaded guilty to causing her actual bodily harm.

Prosecutor Omar Ahmad said: “The injured party had attended Houghton for a drink with friends and was very drunk towards the end of the night.

“She’d had an argument with a local female – it was a disagreement six months earlier.”

CCTV footage shows the defendant kicking the injured party in the face and stamping on her head

Omar Ahmad, prosecuting

The court heard the victim was helped to her feet by her partner and taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital to be treated for an injury to her nose.

She also suffered pain in her chest and back and difficulty eating due to a cracked and chipped tooth.

Mr Ahmad said: “She admitted that she assaulted the victim after ‘a bit of a to do’.

“She said she punched and kicked the victim and the victim did not fight back.”

The White Lion.

The White Lion.

He added: “CCTV footage shows the defendant kicking the injured party in the face and stamping on her head.

“It was a sustained and repeated assault on the same victim.”

The court heard Carroll has a history of violence, having been convicted of ABH once before and twice of battery. She also has a caution for ABH on her record.

Paul McAlindon, defending, said: “This incident occurred in September last year.

“She had been out, she’d had a drink – she accepts that.

“She fully accepts responsibility for what happened outside the pub – she went too far in drink.

“The most serious aspect of the offence is the kicking and stamping when she is on the ground with a shod foot.”

Mr McAlindon detailed the serious medical problems she has suffered since December.

“On Christmas Day she contracted Meningitis and Septicaemia,” she said.

“Unfortunately she has lost nine of her toes – she only has one toe left.

“As a result, her mobility is significantly reduced.

“She is wheelchair-bound and is housebound apart from going to hospital appointments.

“She has had to delay taking her medication this morning or she wouldn’t have been fit to attend court.”

The court heard the victim has accepted an apology from Carroll.

Probation officer Alan Cutting, who prepared a pre-sentence report, said she had been drinking due to going through a bad patch in her marriage. However, Mr Cutting said she is now reconciled with her husband, with whom she has a 15-year-old son.

The court heard her illness left her on the brink of death and in a coma for two weeks. The medication she takes include Tramadol, morphine and strong painkillers for the nerve damage in her feet, which leave her feeling drowsy.

He said: “She hasn’t taken the medication today because she probably wouldn’t have got to court if she had, and she is in quite a lot of pain.

“She is probably not going to commit any further offences in the future, I think that is plain to see.”

The bench concluded that there were ‘extreme mitigating circumstances’ in regards to personal health, and sentenced Carroll to a 12-month community order with a £200 fine.

She was also told to pay £200 in compensation to her victim.

How attacker contracted menigitis.

The Wearside mum told the Echo how she was just minutes from death after contracting meningitis when she fell seriously ill on Christmas Day.

Tracey Carroll, 36, was struck down by the serious illness, with doctors saying she could’ve been minutes from death.

Originally diagnosed with a chest infection, her condition began to worsen, which is when she was taken into hospital and put on the critical list.

She spoke to the Echo to raise awareness of the dangers of meningitis while also warning the public that it is not just babies and younger people who can contract it.

It was last December that she first began to feel unwell with a chest infection.

Then on Christmas Day she said she got up at 6am to start cooking the turkey and put her son’s Christmas presents out, but I ended up lying on the couch shaking because I felt so unwell.

She went back to bed but her condition then rapidly worsened.

An ambulance was called and she was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital for treatment.

She said the paramedics said that if her husband had left it another 10 or 15 minutes to call for help she might not have made it.

Put in an induced coma, medics discovered that she had contracted meningococcal meningitis, of which it is rare for a person in their 30s to get.

On December 30, she was then transferred to a specialist unit at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, although there were doubts that she would be well enough to travel after developing pneumonia in her lungs.

With her oxygen levels fluctuating constantly, she began to get better after responding to treatment.

During the ordeal however, her organs started to shut down and she suffered swelling on the brain.

“After all I went through, I shouldn’t really be here to be honest, ” she said.

“I’m one lucky person to have survived and I just want to make people aware.”

Tracey was then transported back to Sunderland Royal and put on the Integrated Critical Care Unit for three days before being moved onto another ward.

She was discharged from hospital in January.