A MUM-to-be will give birth behind bars after she carried out a vicious, race-hate robbery – simply because her victim was Scottish.
Glaswegian Wendy Barbour was targeted by thugs who said she should “take herself back to Scotland” when they overheard her accent while she was talking to her daughter on the phone as she walked along Stanhope Road in South Shields.
The 44-year-old, who had just been to her local shop, was attacked from behind by Kaily Amess, 22, who dragged her onto the road and threw repeated punches on her head and body as she desperately tried to get up.
Mrs Barbour’s ordeal, which left her beaten and scarred, was captured on CCTV, which was played in court and a judge described as “truly shocking”.
Mrs Barbour’s horrified daughter heard the abuse and violence the mum was subjected to via the mobile phone, which stayed connected.
Amess, of Renoir Gardens, South Shields, who is due to have her baby next month, admitted robbery and was yesterday jailed for two years.
Judge John Evans told her: “You engaged in the attack without reason and without any mercy.
“All of this, apparently, because she had chosen her own, natural accent when addressing her daughter on the telephone.
“Already an arthritis sufferer, this was a both terrifying and very painful experience for her and left her with scars on her cheek and forehead.
“You are heavily pregnant, you appear to have fallen pregnant shortly after these events.
“By your own behaviour you have condemned yourself to spend the first years of your child’s life, an otherwise joyful occasion, in custody.
“It has to be understood that those who chose to behave in this outrageous fashion are going to go to custody, whatever their personal circumstances.”
Two men who encouraged Amess’s behaviour and hurled race-hate abuse at Mrs Barbour were branded “cowards” by the judge.
Liam O’Brien, prosecuting, told the court Mrs Barbour was verbally abused and called a “Scottish b******” on her way to her local shop last June and was scared she was about to be beaten up.
It was on her way back home her fears were realised when she was pounced on from behind.
Mr O’Brien said: “A male shouted ‘go on Kaily, left and right her’.
“The defendant threw a punch to the complainant’s head, causing her to drop her bags to the pavement then she pulled her to the floor.
“While on the pavement, she was straddled by the defendant and punched repeatedly in the head.
“She attempted to get up but one of the males assisted the defendant, grabbing hold of the complainant’s legs, pulling her from the pavement onto the road.
“The defendant continued to punch her about the head and torso.
“Her daughter had to hear the sound of her mother being shouted at and then assaulted.
“Clearly it was a very upsetting thing for her to deal with and she sped to the hospital to see her mother.”
Mrs Barbour was left with black eyes, scrapes to her face, lumps and bumps to her head and was still suffering blurred vision months after the attack.
Her shopping was taken from her after the violence.
The court heard one of the facial injuries left her with having the appearance of a “lazy eye”.
Mr O’Brien added: “She thinks this was a racial incident due to her Scottish accent, and indeed it would appear this is a racially aggravated offence.”
Lewis Kerr, defending, said Amess has turned her life around since that night and added: “She is disgusted by her own behaviour.”