[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 29 September 2006, 12:47 GMT 13:47 UK
Judge's sympathy for slap mother
Samantha Nicholson
The judge said Samantha Nicholson suffered a torrent of abuse
A judge has sympathised with a mother who landed herself in court after she slapped three teenagers who were terrorising her family.

Samantha Nicholson, 31, was given an 18-month community order at Barnsley Magistrates' Court after admitting three counts of assault.

But the judge said "right-thinking people" would be "appalled" by the torrent of abuse she had suffered,

He said she should be helped to move out of the "no-go area" of Lund Lane.

'Prisoner in home'

The court heard the mother-of-two snapped on 23 August after being abused by the teenagers, who threw bottles at her windows, sat in her garden at night playing loud music and left her children too afraid to leave the house.

She slapped two 14-year-old girls and a 16-year-old boy after another youth had thrown bricks at her house.

They denied throwing it, but Nicholson told them "you think I'm all mouth" and slapped each one of them on the face.

District Judge Michael Rosenberg said: "You and your family have experienced threats from local children to the extent that you are now afraid to stay in the house when your partner is not there.

"You felt like a prisoner in your own home."

I'm certain any right thinking member of society would be appalled by this
District Judge Michael Rosenberg

Mr Rosenberg said he had seen reports which described how Nicholson's garden had been destroyed, how she had objects thrown at the windows and how she had been repeatedly threatened by youths.

Teenagers had also threatened to burgle her home and set her house on fire.

'Grateful for assistance'

The judge accepted Nicholson had "taken the law into her own hands" but urged the police and council to help her to escape the area where she lived.

He said: "I can't comment as to what the police have or have not done.

"I can't comment as to what the council has or has not done.

"But I'm certain any right thinking member of society would be appalled by this.

"If the police and council could be asked to look at this afresh and to ensure while this lady is moving and when she moves some sort of assistance can be given I'd be grateful."

The district judge gave Nicholson an 18-month community order with a supervision requirement and ordered her to pay 43 costs.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific