Leeds mum-of-two attacked brawling man with a claw hammer

A mum-of-two attacked a man with a claw hammer after becoming embroiled in a west Leeds street brawl.

By Nick Frame
Friday, 5th August 2022, 11:45 am

Two men had been scrapping on Tong Way in Farnley when 45-year-old Adele McDonald inexplicably waded in with the weapon, before kicking one of the men as he was on the floor.

Prosecuting at Leeds Crown Court, Emily Jenkins said the fist fight between the males had started at around 4pm on April 9, last year, following a dispute between children.

As crowds gathered, McDonald then appeared and struck the man on the back of the head with what witnesses described as a claw hammer.

Tong Way, in Farnsley, where the fighting took place.

As he lost his footing, she then kicked him twice.

The man suffered grazing to his head and bruising.

McDonald was arrested and became irate with officers and denied any involvement, saying she was being framed because of an ongoing neighbourly dispute.

She was interviewed again after witnesses picked her out of an ID parade, but gave no comment.

McDonald, of Tong Way, Farnley, later admitted possession of an offensive weapon and causing actual bodily harm, but on a basis of plea which she stated she never used the hammer, and only kicked the man once, which was rejected by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

A Newton Hearing was conducted to establish the facts, and McDonald eventually admitted she unintentionally hit the man with the hammer, and admitted kicking him twice. This was accepted by the CPS.

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Mitigating, Benjamin Bell said: “It was a reckless blow to the head and she accepts two kicks.

"There seems to be some issues with anger and making big decisions. She understand the severity of it.”

He said McDonald had suffered trauma in her life and was on medication because of the neighbourly dispute.

The court was told she had two convictions, including disorderly behaviour in 2017, and four cautions including battery in 2012.

Judge Penelope Belcher handed her six-months’ jail, suspended for 18 months, and 80 hours of unpaid work.

She said: “Why on earth did you get involved with this?

"It was nothing to do with you on the face of it.

"You chose to pick up the hammer and get involved.

"You became part of that joint assault on the man, and it makes you equally responsible.”