A mother attacked a teenage girl after claims that a group of bullies had made her daughter’s life a living hell.
Livingston Sheriff Court heard the woman had asked the children’s school, the police and even the parents of the teenagers bullying her girl to help stop the persecution.
Eventually, after she and her family had endured nearly six months of intimidation, the distraught woman snapped when the bullies shouted “f*** off” at her outside a convenience store.
The woman – who can’t be named in order to protect the identity of her under-aged daughter – lunged at a 14-year-old schoolgirl she recognized as one of the gang.
She tried to strike the youngster on the head then grabbed her by the hair before realizing what she was doing was wrong and walking away.
Katrine Craig, prosecuting, said the victim suffered scratches as a result of the scuffle but was not badly hurt.
The 44-year-old mother-of-two pled guilty yesterday to assaulting the schoolgirl to her injury in Livingston, West Lothian, on the evening of May 25 last year. Although she has never been in trouble with the law before she was fined £250.
Iain Smith, defending, said the assault victim and several of her friends had been bullying the accused’s 14-year-old daughter since the previous December.
He said it started off with name calling at school but developed into frequent intimidation outside school.
He said the part-time garage shopworker had asked teachers to intervene on several occasions and reported the intimidation to the police several times to no avail.
He added: “She even went to the complainer’s house and spoke to her parents on more than one occasion. She also went to see the parents of other children involved, but nothing was done.”
He claimed the gang had previously assaulted her daughter’s older brother and said the bullies frequently came to check if the accused was at work before going round to her home and taunting her children while they were alone in the house.
At one point one of the group picking on her children banged on the doors and smashed a window in her house, he said.
On the day of the assault, Mr Smith said his client was verbally abused by several of the gang who told her to “f*** off”.
He told the court: “By that time she’d had enough and she lashed out and grabbed hold of the complainer’s hair.
“She describes herself as being at the end of her tether but wholly accepts that she should not have done this.
“At that stage she was helpless because the school said there was nothing they could do, the police had given out a warning and – as far as she was concerned – the parents were completely disinterested.
“She doesn’t think they encouraged their children to behave in that vein but they did nothing to stop it.
“She’s embarrassed by what happened. Her child has now left the school and has gone to college so there are no ongoing difficulties.”
Passing sentence, Sheriff Susan Craig told the accused she accepted she had been “pushed hard” by the difficulties with the young women involved.
But she added: “It’s very clear that you can’t behave in the way in which you behaved towards these girls because what you’re doing is simply descending to the level to which they were descending.
“You as an adult – considerably older – know you’re not to behave in that way and that’s why you find yourself in the dock today.
“I’m going to deal with it by way of a fine. It’s not appropriate for there to be no disposal because you caused injury to the complainer.”