11:20am Sunday 29th September 2013
By Gazette reporter
A WOMAN with the worst record for violence a judge had ever seen has walked free from court after hitting another woman over the head with a bottle.
Emma Cox, 23, wept uncontrollably at Gloucester crown court on Wednesday as Judge Jamie Tabor QC decided not to jail her for an assault on a woman in Warehouse night club in Stroud.
The mum of two had been convicted by a jury two weeks ago of assaulting the woman her actual bodily harm.
"You have been before the courts on more occasions than any other young woman I have met, ever, for offences of violence," the judge told Cox, of Chapel Street, Stroud.
"There is something inside which creates this anger, which is released by the taking of alcohol."
The judge said she was setting 'the worst possible example' to her two young children.
The judge said he had a stark choice between imposing a lengthy jail term or giving Cox the chance to get to the bottom of her offending and find out what is driving her to behave so badly.
He sentenced her to 12 months jail suspended for two years with supervision and a requirement to attend a women’s offending group.
"In order to stop you drinking and going out and behaving in the way you have been there will be a six months curfew from 7pm-6am every night," said the judge.
"That means no going out over Christmas at all. It means staying sober and behaving yourselft."
Cox had spent the last two weeks in custody on remand since her conviction.
She was shaking and tearful in the dock throughout her appearance and her solicitor Dermot Clarke said the prospect of a jail term filled her with horror.
Edward Haskell, prosecuting,, had reminded the judge that Cox's previous convictions were for battery in 2007, common assault twice in 2008, disorderly behaviour in 2009, assault causing bodily harm also in 2009 and battery again last year.
The offences included driving her car into an off duty ambulance worker, assaulting a three-year-old boy and attacking a guard on a train.
The jury heard how the victim was dancing at Warehouse on April 8 this year when Cox poured a vodka drink over her head.
Prosecutor Tim Hills said: "She was dancing upstairs with friends when she felt something liquid poured over her head from behind.
"This defendant had a bottle of Smirnoff Ice and had poured some of the contents, if not all of them, over her head.
"It was a completely unprovoked piece of activity on her part.
"The victim asked who had done it and then turned and confronted Miss Cox. There was an altercation - in fact there was a scrap between them.
"At the end of it, as the victim turned away, the defendant was still holding the bottle and swung it at her head. She hit her on the forehead, above the left eye, causing a cut about half an inch long
"The victim felt dizzy and went to her knees. She was helped outside by her friend. She was taken to A&E in Gloucester and a staple was put in the wound."
When arrested Cox claimed the victim threw a punch at her and she pushed her to get her away.
She said the victim then slipped and fell back. She denied pouring the drink and she denied hitting her at all.
Mr Clarke told the court that Cox was maturing and had a job at a diner in Gloucester. Her offending had slowed down in recent times, he said.
Asked by the judge what made her so angry Mr Clarke said she had been adopted at a very young age and had been searching for years for her natural mother, who she has now contacted.
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