Woman walks free from court after ‘frenzied’ pub attack

Lowestoft Magistrates Court. Picture: James Bass

Lowestoft Magistrates Court. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A woman was 'screaming like a banshee' as she bit and spat at police officers and knocked out a man's filling in a frenzied attack in a Walberswick pub, a court was told.

However Saffron Betts, of Adams Lane, Walberswick, avoided an immediate jail term after it was heard that she had suffered a 'white-out' when experiencing flashbacks to an assault she had been the victim of.

Lowestoft Magistrates' Court heard how the 22-year-old was 'very intoxicated' and abusive to a group of locals, who had met up in The Bell Inn to celebrate a birthday.

Prosecutor Lucy Miller said Betts was 'out of control' and 'screaming like a banshee' as she punched a man in the face, knocking out his filling. She bit another man on the cheek, while a third man suffered cuts to his nose and forearm. Two women also had chunks of their hair pulled out.

Later, she bit a male police officer on the hand and spat at a female police officer.

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Betts admitted threatening behaviour and criminal damage of a phone, in relation to two further incidents that occurred at the pub on December 5. She also admitted two further assaults on her former boyfriend in Southwold in January, and a woman in Westleton in February.

However, magistrates' suspended her 20-week jail sentence for 18 months.

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Sally Dale, mitigating, said: 'The particular emotional state that she finds herself in is triggered by a very, very nasty assault she suffered a number of years ago. She suffered a white-out, and was in no way in control of her faculties. Her behaviour was completely unacceptable – she knows that and accepts that.'

Magistrate Christopher Bowles said: 'We are dealing with quite a horrendous, frenzied attack. While you may have had some issues, it can't take away these are serious offences. You are very lucky to go out of that door and not go to prison.' Betts will have to comply with a community order of 25 days of rehabilitation, and she was ordered to pay a total of £1,200 compensation – which will be paid in various differing sums to nine out of the 10 victims. Magistrates also banned her from entering The Anchor and the Bell Inn in Walberswick for 12 months.

Betts is due to start 'very detailed counselling' within the next week.

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