Victim left battered after attack on doorstep

Attacker Tamla Howett
Attacker Tamla Howett
A screen shot from the CCTV footage

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TWO attackers punched and kicked a woman and stole gold jewellery worth £6,000 in a dispute over £57, a court heard.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Lorraine Hounsell and Tamla Howett attacked their victim leaving her with cuts and bruises on her face and body.

They threw a brick through a window at the middle-aged victim’s home before confronting the woman while trying to get a training course deposit back for Hounsell’s daughter.

The court heard the woman was left with a black eye, scratches on her face, a cut lip, a bruised arm and torso and a torn ligament in one shoulder.

Prosecutor Martyn Booth said: ‘This left her feeling extremely upset and insecure in her own home. She no longer feels safe. The attack was completely unprovoked and unnecessary.’

The court heard Hounsell held the victim back as Howett kicked her once in the head during the sustained attack on her doorstep at night in Clanfield.

Judge Roger Hetherington said Hounsell’s daughter’s deposit had not been paid back when the victim’s business ran into problems.

Sentencing the pair to a two-year suspended prison sentence each, Judge Hetherington said: ‘The circumstance of these offences was little short of ridiculous. It was serious group violence in the sense there were two of you on her.’

He added the pair had both lied to police and during a trial about where they were on November 5, 2013, the night of the attack.

Hounsell, 50, a former teaching assistant, has no previous convictions and was of good character, Judge Hetherington said. She was told to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

The court heard Howett, 35, was alcohol-dependent for years but was now dealing with her problem.

She was given an 18-month supervision requirement and told to attend a thinking skills programme and an alcohol treatment programme for six months. She was also given a three-month curfew and must stay at home between 9pm and 6am each day.

Both women were told to pay a £100 victim surcharge but an application to make them pay £2,800 costs was refused by Judge Hetherington as he said the women did not have the cash.

The court heard the victim did not want to receive any cash from the pair.

Insurers had repaid the cost of the unrecovered jewellery, originally worth £4,000 before the value of gold went up.

Rebecca Austin, defending mother-of-two Hounsell, said: ‘This was an impulsive loss of control that was out of character.’

Defending Howett, Charles Cochand told the court: ‘She didn’t set out to be involved in a burglary or assault.’

The pair, of Magennis Close, Gosport, were both found guilty of one count of burglary and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after a trial.