Jail for Worthing woman charged with multiple assaults

A Worthing woman was sentenced to 60 days in prison for several offences, including spitting at a nurse and headbutting a pedestrian.

Alexandra Capone, 41, of Park Road in Worthing, appeared in Worthing Magistrates’ Court today on three charges of assault, one charge of criminal damage and three charges of breaching an anti-social behavioural order.

She was handcuffed and taken into custody immediately.

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The court heard that on Sunday, July 10, in the first of three incidents to which the charges related, the defendant approached two men who were conversing in Worthing’s Montague Street and accused them of stealing her car keys.

She then headbutted one of the men, Michael Fallon, and pushed the other, Connor Stent, who dropped his phone – an Apple Iphone 6 – which she then stamped on, shattering the screen, the court heard.

Police attended the scene to find her ‘clearly very drunk’, in breach of an anti-social behavioural disorder imposed in 2014 which prohibits her from being drunk in a public place, said Chris Bull, prosecuting.

Richard Finlay, defending, said on that day Capone had been given a cigarette which she had thought to be a normal cigarette, but had in fact contained what she believed to be crystal meth.

Capone had ‘not intended to make contact’ with the men, who she believed may have had ‘sexual intentions’ towards her, Mr Finlay said, adding that neither man suffered lasting injury.

The second incident, which took place on Friday, July 29, when Capone was on bail from the previous incident, occured at Worthing Hospital, where she had been admitted after suffering a head injury, according to Mr Bull.

The court heard that she was intoxicated and abusive.

When a nurse, Tina Fox, approached her to get a breath sample, Capone spat in her face and hit her in the leg, the court heard.

According to the defence, Capone was heavily concussed during this incident, having been hit over the head with a metal bar, causing her to suffer an injury described by doctors as being ‘the size of a tennis ball’ on her head.

The third incident on Monday, September 26, also occurred at Worthing Hospital, where Capone was given a lift by police due to being injured.

Once at the hospital, she was ‘loud and rowdy’ and ‘shouting profanities’, said Mr Bull.

She went outside to drink cider and was arrested for breaching an anti-social behavioural order, the court heard.

The defence said that Capone had been admitted to hospital after being ‘severely attacked’ by a group of seven people, in which she was ‘punched repeatedly to the head’.

Mr Finlay said: “She wasn’t in a good state of mind,”

He said Capone had been reluctant to go to hospital as she had been given alcohol as a pain killer by her partner, who was trying to calm her down.

Capone pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity for this charge, the court heard, but for all the other charges she had entered a late guilty plea.

Mr Finlay said she had underlying ‘serious mental health issues’, including bipolar disorder and told the court: “Custody would impact negatively on her mental health.”

He said Capone was on very strong medication, which had been a ‘consistent factor’ throughout these incidents.

She had lost her home and was suffering because of that, as well as other disruptions in her personal life, he added.

District Judge Christopher James said: “In respect of all of these cases I come to the conclusion that they are so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.”

He said that the assault against Tina Fox was the ‘most unpleasant’ incident.

He said: “On a hospital premises, you took exception for some reason to the person seeking to help you, who was simply doing her job.

“That was an extremely unpleasant incident.”

Capone said from the docks: “I’m sorry sir. I was concussed.

“I didn’t know where I was.”

He handed down custodial sentences of eight weeks for the headbutting assault; four weeks for pushing Mr Stent and four weeks for causing damage to his phone and six weeks for breaching the ASBO on July 10, to run concurrently.

The sentences run consecutively with a 12-week custodial sentence for the spitting incident and assault, six weeks for the order breach on July 29 and four weeks for the order breach on September 26 – which will run concurrently.

Capone will spend half of the total of 20 weeks in custody, with a reduction of 19 days for having been subjected to an electronic tag.

She was also ordered to pay £115 in costs.

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