Woman repeatedly punched another mother with dog lead around her fist

Woman who repeatedly punched another mother in the face with a dog lead wrapped round her fist as they both waited to pick up their children from school avoids jail

  • Jordan Lawless at Liverpool Crown Court after pleading guilty to wounding

A mother attacked another parent with a dog lead wrapped around her hand as they picked their children up from school ‘for no good reason,’ a court has heard. 

Victim Carla Hardy was waiting to pick her child up from school when Jordan Lawless, whose child went to the same school, approached her, Fiona McNeill, prosecuting, said.

The 30-year-old said ‘look at me again or I will slash your face’ to which the victim responded ‘what do you mean?’

‘The next thing she recalled was the defendant on top of her and being repeatedly hit,’ Ms McNeill said.

‘She remembered tasting blood in her mouth but it was not till later when she realised she had been hit with a dog lead.’

Lawless appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to one count of wounding. She was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for 18 months.

Pictured is Jordan Lawless who told her victim ‘look at me again or I will slash your face’

Ms McNeill said a witness saw Ms Hardy being hit with the dog lead, and that Lawless had been seen wrapping it around her hand before punching the victim.

The victim suffered a three centimetre laceration to her forehead, a one centimetre laceration to the bridge of her nose, one of her teeth was loosened plus the cap on another tooth was knocked out.

Lawless voluntarily went to the police station the day after the attack on November 16, 2021, and during her interview said she had been at the school to pick up her child.

The mother-of-one said she had previously had trouble with Ms Hardy but could not give any specific examples of what had been said. She claimed Ms Hardy came towards her and she felt under threat, and said she had a diagnosis of PTSD.

Lawless accepted she hit the victim three times and that she had made comments towards her but denied using a dog lead. 

In a statement given by the victim three months after the incident and read by the prosecution, Ms Hardy said she still suffered pain and nausea and did not go out in the weeks immediately after.

She said she is conscious of the scarring on her face caused by the injuries, and the incident ‘significantly altered her outlook and behaviour’. 

In a later victim personal statement written in February this year, Ms Hardy said she is ‘existing rather than living’ and still suffers with panic attacks when she talks about the incident.

Lawless was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for 18 months, and ordered to complete 40 rehabilitation activity days, mental health treatment requirements for 12 months (pictured is a stock image of Liverpool Crown Court)

Lawless, of Everton, has three previous convictions for five offences, two of which were in November and December of 2011, the first for breaching the peace and the second for assault of a designated person carrying out their public duty. 

In 2022, she received a suspended sentence for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, which occurred shortly after she was released under investigation for the attack on Ms Hardy.

Martine Snowden, defending, said her client had significant mental health difficulties at the time of the offending, including a diagnosis of PTSD shortly before this offending. 

She said the victim’s father died in violent circumstances and she experienced violence within her family.

Ms Snowden said Lawless then became involved with men that were violent towards her – two of which have been sent to jail for assaulting her. 

It was not until June 2021, months prior to this offence that she was diagnosed with PTSD, and that her ‘unresolved trauma was resulting in volatility and anger’.

She said: ‘She has been existing in a long standing fear of violence. The irony in this case is that this defendant’s violent outbursts relate to everything that you can see in relation to her background as it is rooted in the damage caused to her throughout her life as a consequence of violence perpetrated towards her and in her life.’

Ms Snowden added that since receiving therapy, Lawless has made very good progress and is doing well complying with the requirements of her suspended sentence. 

In sentencing, Judge Andrew Menary KC said: ‘This was a pretty outrageous offence committed by you.

‘She had done nothing wrong to you at all, she was a completely innocent victim. 

‘For no good reason at all you began to abuse her and threaten her and then without any warning at all you repeatedly hit her to the face using a dog lead that you had wrapped around your hand as a weapon.

‘In this case however, I am satisfied that there is a genuine underlying mental health issue which requires treatment, is being treated and you are responding positively to therapy. That is the only reason I am pulling back from imposing the prison sentence you otherwise deserve.’

Lawless was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for 18 months, and ordered to complete 40 rehabilitation activity days, mental health treatment requirements for 12 months. 

A victim surcharge was also applied and a restraining order barring Lawless from contacting the victim or attending within 50 metres of her child’s school was imposed for five years.

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